Denny woman walking one million steps to support mental health charity launched by family of ex-Falkirk player

A Denny woman is on a mission to walk one million steps to support a mental health charity and raise awareness of the issue.

By Jonathon Reilly
Thursday, 1st April 2021, 11:37 am
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 12:53 pm

Donna Clelland set herself the daunting prospect of clocking up the huge tally over a 90-day period to help the Chris Mitchell Foundation – an organisation which is close to her heart.

The charity was launched by the family of former Falkirk FC player Chris Mitchell, who took his own life aged 27 in May 2016.

Chris was best friends with Donna’s brother-in-law and fellow Bairns star Mark Stewart

Donna Clelland has already done more than 280,000 steps as part of her mission to support the Chris Mitchell Foundation and those experiencing mental health issues. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Donna, 36, and her relatives admit they had no idea of the struggles Chris had been facing prior to his death.

She has previously completed a number of fundraising events in aid of the Chris Mitchell Foundation, which aims to provide staff at every professional football club in Scotland with mental health support.

The credit controller, who is also a fitness instructor, is hopeful her latest effort will bring in enough donations to enable the charity to continue its vital work.

Denny woman Donna Clelland is taking on a One Million Steps challenge over 90 days to raise funds for and awareness of the Chris Mitchell Foundation. Picture: Michael Gillen.

The challenge began on March 1 and Donna has already taken 300,000 steps.

She said: “Chris and his family were very close to us and unfortunately none of us was aware of the extent of his mental health issue when injury forced him to leave the sport.

“The foundation aims to equip at least two people in each of the Scottish professional football clubs with the knowledge and skills to enable them to identify those suffering with the symptoms of poor mental health, through the delivery of a bespoke mental health first aid training course.

“I genuinely believe more people should speak up and seek help. If my story and the work of the foundation can help, all the better.

“I feel, with football being predominantly a male-orientated sport, that there is still a stigma for men surrounding talking about their struggles and issues.

“I just want to help people and highlight that male suicides have consistently accounted for approximately three quarters of all suicides in the UK since the mid-1990s.”

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Visit the charity’s website for more information.

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