Our story: how did we start?

Find Your We

It’s 2016. Author, journalist and campaigner Bryony Gordon is struggling with her mental health.

One day in the park, trying to outrun her OCD, Bryony is listening to a documentary about late author, Carson McCullers in which she said:

‘All people belong to a we except me.’  

These words struck something in Bryony. She was determined to find a way to bring people together, to help them feel less alone … to find their ‘we.’ McCullers’s words propelled Bryony to take the next step.

Bryony Gordon
Bryony's original tweet saying "Who wants to go for a walk?"

It started with a walk

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 …

To her amazement, she arrived to find twenty people waiting for her! Bryony was struck by everyone’s courage to get up on a cold February morning and set out on a walk with a bunch of strangers. Something special was happening. People were getting out, connecting, sharing and feeling less alone.

Bryony knew their needed to be more walks, in more places, so that everyone had the chance to experience this kind of community support.

And so … Mental Health Mates was born!

Mental Health Mates

Fast forward seven years and Mental Health Mates has over 150 walks across the UK helping people to get out and get connected without fear of judgement.

That first walk spurred something in Bryony. It gave her the confidence to run marathons (sometimes in her pants), take up cold water swimming and brave crazy challenges that have connected her with some very inspiring people.

This all sounds pretty wild.

But really, it started with a walk.

All it took was a first step. And Mental Health Mates is here to help you take it.

Who knows where it might take you!

3 Mental Health Mates pictures of groups and of Bryony Gordon

Join a walk

Let us know that you’re interested in joining a walk and we’ll see how we can help.