Brave Sam takes on gruelling charity challenge to thank those who helped save her life

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A Falkirk woman is taking on a gruelling exercise challenge to raise funds for the mental health charity which helped save her life.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service admin assistant Sam Lyon has lived with depression and anxiety for several years, but lockdown brought her mental health to the brink.

Having reached out for support, Sam was blown away by the support and compassion from her work colleagues as well as the assistance from charity, the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Sam credits both with saving her life and now plans to repay the love by taking part in a charity exercise challenge.

To show her appreciation for the support, the 22-year-old is set to run 5km, followed by a 25km cycle and a final 5km run.

Sam said: "Lockdown has been difficult and brought things to a head, but because of that, I'm getting help.

"As much as I can be struggling, I don't hide it - I hid it for so long and realised it wasn't doing me any good.

"I've had amazing support from people in work and from groups like SAMH.

"If it weren't for that support then I wouldn't be able to have this conversation today.

"Speaking out is so important because you are never alone."

The SFRS recently launched its first Mental Health Strategy, which outlines a commitment to prioritise mental health alongside physical health as well as outlining an intention to give staff training to help look after their mental health.

The unwavering support from work colleagues and SAMH has left Sam determined to give back - even though the Scottish winter has not helped her prep work.

She said: "I'm going to give it a good go.

"I think the cycling will be fine as it's my sport.

"Hopefully Covid doesn't kick things into touch, but I've got a backup plan if it does.

"This gives me something to focus on and aim to do well in - it helps my head.

"The support I have had is amazing and I want people to know what organisations like SAMH can offer."

To donate to Sam's charity effort visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edi-duathlon-sprint

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