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Crazy for Walking Preparaions


How do you tackle a walk from Pretoria to Cape Town? The obvious answer is "One step at a time", but you're probably asking the question "Why walk from Pretoria to Cape Town when there are far easier options to cover the distance?" Crazy for Walking is an initiative which will see several walkers depart Pretoria on 1 September and arrive in Cape Town on 10 October which is World Mental Health Day. They're walking to highlight and de-stigmatize Mental Illness.

Taking "ownership" of the word "Crazy" is key to the campaign. "Our aim is to educate people about mental illness, particularly depression and anxiety," says Francois Louw, CEO of Vista Clinic, one of 30 psychiatric hospitals in the National Health Network (NHN) group of hospitals and the principal sponsor of the initiative. "We'll be making stops in various towns along the way to hold educational talks about mental illness. At these talks, we will assist people with guidelines on where to seek help, as well as give them some coping mechanisms, focusing around our HAPPINESS HELPS programme."

The HAPPINESS HELPS programme focuses on an Acronym as follows:
H – Help Others
E – Exercise (which the walkers will get plenty of)
L - Learn
P - Play
S – Spiritual Growth

"We have found that this programme most certainly helps to reduce stress and anxiety," says Dr Jerrie Bezuidenhout, Director of Medical Services at Vista Clinic. "It's very practical and can be practiced by anyone, at minimal cost.

Walkers will walk from Monday to Friday every week, walking around 12 hours per day in relay shifts. This means that each walker will walk between 4 and 6 hours per day. The walkers are sponsored by their companies and come from all around the country with most walking in the regions near to their workplaces.

"There is a bit of a crazy playful competition going on within the walking groups at present," says Hannetjie Buitendag – Team Captain of the Crazy for Walking campaign. "We're getting training reports and photos on our social media feeds showing the training taking place as our crazy walkers get themselves into shape for the challenge."

And, if you notice that the walkers are all wearing very funky, colourful, crazy socks, this is a key element of the campaign. On 10 October, to highlight World Mental Health Day, Crazy for Walking is encouraging everyone to wear their "craziest" socks and to take photographs of this and share the pics on the social media feeds as part of "Crazy Socks Day". The ultimate aim of this is to promote awareness of mental illness and to have some fun and remove the sting out of the word "crazy".

You can follow the progress of the walk (and post your photographs) on the following social media feeds:
Facebook: @CrazyforWalking
Twitter: @CrazyforWalking #crazyforwalking #crazysocksday

For further information contact:

Nicolene Cronje
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Issued by:
Lance Rothschild
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Mobile: 082 443 1530