Credit: Becks via Becks’ Manchester Marathon Challenge.
Ex Salford student who was hospitalised due to depression starts mental health recovery journey by joining Buile Hill Park’s RIOT running club.
Becks Macey, 39, moved from her Nottingham home to study for her masters at The University of Salford as part of the 2020/21 cohort. In the early weeks of her course, a national lockdown was ordered, and Becks was left on her own with little to no social contact.
“I had everybody there (at home), moving up here it was completely different, I was isolated from everybody.”
“I was by myself. The only human contact I had was at work for 5 minutes – we were told we couldn’t talk.”
After months of isolation, people at Becks’ place of work started to notice a decline in her mental health, a walk around Buile Hill Park with a co-worker was ‘the most human contact since Christmas’ for Becks.
Suffering from depression for years, the isolation and lack of human contact took Becks back to a dark place, resulting in hospitalisation for her mental health, something Becks says she could not have predicted.
“I was coming off my meds, I was doing really well – it’s largely thanks to Covid that this would be anything like it.”
“I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t think it would have the mental implications that it had.”
“The police had to find me; it wasn’t very nice.”
After her discharge from hospital, Becks took her friend up on an offer to join the RIOT (Running Is Our Therapy) running group based in Buile Hill Park.
Something she had always declined to take part in previously would soon become the starting position on her journey to recovery.
“I would always make jokes, give me £1000 and then I’ll go running.”
“The feeling I got afterwards was very exhilarating, I discovered it helped mentally. I did a lot better than I thought I would have”
After joining the running club in September, it took Becks only one month to sign up for the Manchester Marathon.
Due to take place in April, Becks is running to raise awareness for mental health, but also to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and The Murray Parish Trust.
“I want to show people mental health is real, but it’s better when tackled together – we’re all in this together no matter what.”
Becks is hoping to complete the marathon in 4 to 5 hours, but says she is determined to cross the finish line regardless.
“Even if they’ve packed up (the finish line) and gone, I’m gonna get there, I’m gonna cross the finish line even if they’ve taken it away.”