Cleveland Way walkers aim to 'smash' mental health stigma

Charity walk Image copyright Phil Spencer
Image caption Organiser Phil Spencer said it was important to tackle "discrimination"

More than 100 emergency service staff are walking a stretch of the Cleveland Way in order to "smash" the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade, and Yorkshire Ambulance Service staff are walking 32km (20 miles) from Whitby to Saltburn.

Also joining them are members of Cleveland Mountain Rescue to raise money for mental health charity Mind.

Organiser Phil Spencer said it was important to tackle "discrimination".

It is the third year the Blue Light Walk event has been held. Members of Staithes Coastguard are also taking part.

Mr Spencer said: "It is vital that we support all of our emergency services staff and personnel with their own mental health and wellbeing.

"We are passionate in challenging discrimination and smashing the stigma around mental health, both in the emergency services and the wider community."

Det Insp Jon Tapper, of Cleveland Police, said: "When I first started in the force we were expected to just get on with things and have a stiff upper lip.

"No-one talked about their mental health but now the emergency services have active campaigns to tell people that there's nothing wrong with feeling upset."

Image copyright Phil Spencer
Image caption Hundreds and men and women from the emergency services are taking part

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