“I love the simplicity of running”: 20-year-old video producer to take on Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run in aid of mental health charity
• Cameron Jones, 20, was diagnosed with clinical depression whilst studying at university
• Lack of routine and uncertainty over future job prospects brought on anxiety
• Deterioration of Cameron’s condition rendered it impossible for him to continue with his studies
• After discovering a passion for running, Cameron will now take on the Simplyhealth Great Manchester half marathon, raising money for Mind in the process
Cameron Jones is a 20-year-old from Manchester, born and raised. He runs his own video production company, producing video content on behalf of companies and brands.
In October of last year, Cameron was diagnosed with clinical depression, just a few weeks after starting his second year at university in London. Although Cameron was enjoying his course, his anxiety became so severe he struggled to cope.
“Despite my enthusiasm for the course I was studying, Film Production, I was no longer able to continue my studies due to my condition and was forced to move back home.
“This was extremely frustrating for me as I felt completely out of control of my own life, the cause of which couldn’t be laid at the fault of me or anybody.
Having experienced such lows, Cameron wants to warn others who might think they are immune to mental health struggles of their own not to be ignorant.
“I never considered myself as someone who would struggle with a mental health issue, and it’s because of this belief that made my experience all the worse and prolonged its diagnosis.”
Whilst the triggers of the issues he has experienced are still unknown, Cameron believes getting caught up in the university lifestyle was the main reason behind them.
“I will never know the causes for sure, but I mostly think that it was my university lifestyle which rendered me unable to cope with the stress and suffering of life.
“A complete lack of routine, uncertainty surrounding my career in the future, and using substances to produce good feelings, as opposed to feeling good through hard work and achievement.”
Keen to take back control of his life, Cameron turned to running, and quickly found it a very effective way to help deal with the stresses that everyday life brings.
“I love the simplicity of running. When sometimes our goals and aims seem so uncertain, in work or relationships, running is a way to remind yourself that you’re able to set a simple goal to ‘Run 10K’ and do your best to achieve it.
“It’s proof that you can manifest success, in my opinion. It makes me confident in my own ability to navigate and orientate myself in the world; that there is no challenge I can’t undertake.”
Cameron runs with his friend Henry, and together they are taking part in the Simplyhealth Great Manchester half marathon.
“We’re raising money for Mind, Simplyhealth’s chosen charity for this year’s event. We initially began running as an antidote to our own struggles with mental health, so it only seemed appropriate that we raise money in support of Mind.
“When I’m running with my friend Henry, in addition to releasing the tension built up in my body from sitting at a computer editing most of the day, we also have an opportunity to chat openly about our lives.
“Not only does this make the running a little easier, but it also acts as a small therapy session. We complain about our problems and the things that are bothering us. By the time we have finished our run, showered and dressed, all of the resentment and worry that I may have been harbouring prior to the run has completely dissipated and I’m ready to begin my day with a clear mind.”
With not long to go until the run, the two friends have been putting in the hard hours out on the road: “Training has been going very well and we have been tracking our progress. We’ve been trying to run at least twice a week. So far, the furthest we have run is 10k, and we’re hoping to have run 15k by the 20th May.
Despite going through some tough times, Cameron believes he wouldn’t be in a job he loves without having experienced what he has.
“All of this I believe has been a massive contributor in getting me to where I am today. Being able to climb out of the darkness of depression and see the world in an optimistic light. That I’m able to accomplish anything if I’m willing to work.
“This newfound attitude has not only cured my day to day mood and perception of life in general but pushed me and Henry to set up our own businesses. We have recently been attending business start-up courses and are helping each other to become our own bosses in our respective passion projects.”
To help people get the most out of life, Simplyhealth has launched a train and prepare section online. Please visit (www.greatrun.org/training-simplyhealth) for tips and inspiration.