Our story: how did we start?

1

Carson McCullers

Find your WE.

n 2016, in the midst of writing her memoir Mad Girl, Bryony Gordon was having significant struggles with her mental health. Around this period, Bryony listened to a documentary about the late author, Carson McCullers in which she said: “The trouble with me is that for a long time I have just been an I person. All people belong to a we except me. Not to belong to a we makes you too lonesome.” Bryony was struck by these words and how much they resonated with her. She immediately knew she wanted to find a way of bringing people together to find their ‘we,’ instead of experiencing the loneliness and isolation that she had so often felt herself. McCuller’s words propelled Bryony to take the next step ...

2

Twitter logo

A tweet.

Bryony took to twitter and invited anyone and everyone to join her in Hyde Park to walk and talk without fear or judgment. After sending out the tweet, Bryony started to wonder if anyone would actually turn up ...

3

Meeting up

Meeting up.

On the day of the meet up, Bryony was doubtful that anyone would turn up. However, to Bryony’s absolute amazement, she turned the corner and found twenty people waiting for her! Bryony was struck by everyone’s courage to get up on a cold February morning to meet a bunch of strangers to talk about the terrifying stuff in their heads while walking around in the park. In Bryony’s words,‘it was brilliant and amazing!’

4

Mental Health Mates

And so, Mental Health Mates was born! With Bryony’s first walk having been such a success, she knew how vital it was to continue with them. Fast forward and Mental Health Mates now has over 120 walks across the UK and continues to grow everyday! Five years on, Bryony says: “I could never have imagined Mental Health Mates would have turned into the national network that it now is, or that it would lead to me living a life beyond OCD, depression and the addiction I had developed as a crap coping mechanism. I owe so much to the amazing walk leaders and members of our community, who blow me away with their own stories of recovery!”