Runaway Minds event set to talk running and mental health at Seckfod Theatre, Woodbridge

Dan Keeley speaking at a previous event. PICTURE: Dan Keeley

Dan Keeley speaking at a previous event. PICTURE: Dan Keeley - Credit: Archant

An mental health talk, held by Dan Keeley and Bon Collins, is set to inspire guests at The Seckford Theatre, Woodbridge this May.

Bon Collins, The Distressed Artist. PICTURE: Bon Collins

Bon Collins, The Distressed Artist. PICTURE: Bon Collins - Credit: Archant

Conversations about mental health, channelling adversity and inspiring others are such imperative talks to have, which is why an upcoming evening with Dan Keeley and Bon Collins is so important.

Runaway Minds is being held at Seckford Theatre at Woodbridge School on Thursday, May 17 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm, and will share the inspiring stories of both speakers.

“Bon and I met at the CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) Christmas party as we’re both avid supporters, and soon realised we could create something quite special by combining our stories and hosting an event together,” says Dan Keeley.

“The evening plans to combine our stories, to have an open and intimate evening talking mental health, channelling adversity and harnessing the power of running and creativity to inspire others.”

Motivational speaker Dan Keeley. PICTURE: Ben Lumley

Motivational speaker Dan Keeley. PICTURE: Ben Lumley - Credit: Archant

Dan Keeley inspired many when he chose to open up the conversation about male mental health and shared his journey from Rome to Home. During the evening, hear him share what led him to undertake the journey and why The CALMzone has become so important to him.

“In 2012, after six months of not looking after myself, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder following a full-scale manic episode in Italy which had me preaching from the central lane of a motorway at rush hour. I had lost my sanity,” Dan continues.

“After time spent in psychiatric wards, I then spent six months completely debilitated and considering ending my own life. Thankfully, through a great deal of love, support and patience from those closest to me, I began my long yet progressive journey back to the positive place you find me in today. So much so that at the time, looking ahead to 2017, I knew that I could create something quite powerful by taking on a solo adventure challenge - to share my story and keep more men alive by talking. It was then that Rome To Home was born!

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“In the summer of 2017, I returned to Italy and started the 65 day, 1250 mile solo and unsupported running adventure from the Colosseum to the London Eye. I raised £17,000 and finished in London at the end of October.

Bon Collins, The Distressed Artist. PICTURE: Bon Collins

Bon Collins, The Distressed Artist. PICTURE: Bon Collins - Credit: Archant

“The adventure was a huge success which came to life with more colour and magic than I ever could have imagined!”

Bon Collins’ story is another that will inspire anyone who hears it. After quitting her day job and taking up art full time, Bon became The Distressed Artist in April 2017. However Bon’s journey started some time before this when an accident caused her to need to learn to walk again. In her recovery, running became a focus as Bon still wanted to achieve her goal of entering a marathon – a goal she had set herself before her accident.

Her frank accounts of life with PTSD have seen her listed as one of the 10 most inspiring women on social media in East Anglia and whether you’re passionate about running, mental health or just want to feel inspired, then Runaway Minds is a not to be missed event.

“There are many reasons I’m so passionate and committed to sharing my story,” adds Dan. “I want to help normalise the conversation surrounding mental health issues, reminding others that every single one of us is struggling with something, and to give hope to others who are suffering. No matter how dark things get, things can and will always get better.”

Bon adds: “I think a lot of my reasons mirror Dan’s. I also wanted to help people to understand common misconceptions about PTSD, and empower others to speak up and work through it.

“I believe in the strength of teaching children and young people to speak up and process emotions rather than be afraid to do so, and to share with friends or parents so that they become stronger. Making this a part of every day life is so important - it normalises it. Talking about mental health should be as easy as saying that you have a headache!”

To read more about each speaker’s story, visit Dan Keeley’s website or Bon’s website The Distressed Artist.

For tickets, visit the Runaway Minds event on the Seckford Theatre website.

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