A GP with a passion for raising awareness of mental health has launched a Million in a Minute challenge in an ambitious bid to raise a million pounds.
Jess Jones, who works at Deerness Park Medical Centre in Hendon, says more should be done to support people who are struggling with mental health and has thrown her weight behind supporting Mind, a charity who she says plays a vital role in supporting people in times of need.
To kick off the fund, the 57-year-old will be doing a strength-based challenge of as many parallel dips as she can in a minute, while wearing a belt weighing a third of her body weight.
She’ll be completing her challenge in October at the Fitness 2000 gym in Roker, where she’ll be hoping to set a new women’s world record and is hoping others will join her over the coming months in doing a challenge of their choosing in a minute.
Jess, who’s been a doctor for 30 years, says mental health is an issue she encounters daily in her job.
“A lot of what we do is mental health related in some way,” she explained. “The effects of addictions, employment, relationship breakdowns and crime can all impact on mental health in both directions, which also affects society.”
She added: “The NHS is really struggling with mental health at the minute and Mind is really well placed to plug that gap. We can refer people to a specialist and people can be waiting weeks, however, Mind can offer more immediate help while taking the strain off the NHS.”
Any one interested in making a difference can choose a sponsored challenge of their liking, whether it be something funny, fitness-based or a mental challenge.
Jess said: “It doesn’t have to be physical, it could be hilarious. My friend wants to see how many underpants she can put on in a minute, it could be anything really. Just make sure to get your friends, family and colleagues to sponsor you to raise as much money as possible.”
Mind provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem and campaigns to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
•If you’re interested in taking on a Million in a Minute challenge or donating you can visit https://justgiving.com/teams/millioninaminute or search “Million in a Minute” on Facebook.
Anyone affected by mental health can contact Mind on Tel: 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.