Kris McGough and his family at the Great North Run 2018
Caption: Kris McGough and his family at the Great North Run 2018
Kris McGough Desert Island Challenge T-shirt
Caption: Kris McGough Desert Island Challenge T-shirt

On the 1st of October 2018, 6 men will be travelling to Sirobate, a remote Indonesian island, to complete an 8-day challenge in an adventurous attempt to collect funds and raise awareness on mental health called the desert Island Breakthrough Adventure. Kris McGough, a family man with 3 kids aged 3-20 and happily married, will be leaving his family for this time to participate and face his fears in support to Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

The journey there consists of three planes, a car and a boat. The first flight takes the men to Dubai where they will catch their second flight from to Jakarta. From Jakarta they will then fly to Sulewesi where a car will take them to a boat which will sail them to the unknown. Each man has had their fair share of mental health issues which has qualified them to go on this trip abroad where they will fend for themselves the whole time. One of these men has shared his story with us.

Kris McGough, a family man with 3 kids aged 3-20 and happily married, will be leaving his family for this time to participate and face his fears. Kris has lived with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety brought on by physical health issues. Due to a bad back he was put on antibiotics to help the pain. These antibiotics have brought on a diagnosis of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which has impacted his life greatly.

Kris is now anxious about basic everyday situations that the average person deals with just fine. Things like getting a bus or a trip to the park with the family could become stressful for Kris due to not knowing whether his IBS will take its toll.

Kris’ family has a history of mental health issues bringing this challenge even closer to home for him. Not only does he experience struggles of his own revolving around poor mental health, but his brother and dad also are sufferers with his brother having depression and his dad having bipolar.

With kids, a wife, a brother and his dad all looking to him for support the time away completing this challenge will not only be a great achievement and chance to face his mental health issues head on but it could also be a chance to get away and relax, well once he’s caught his tea each night and built his shelter for the week.

The people who will be completing the challenge alongside Kris are also sufferers of poor mental health, so it is an opportunity to meet people who he can relate to. Men tend to not seek help for mental health issues more so than women for various reasons. Sometimes being because of pride and dignity or in fear of losing their manhood and feeling like a liability on their wives and kids.

The stigma around men and mental health issues can be a real problem in a lot of cases and sharing his story is a step to breaking this stigma. A problem shared is a problem halved.

You can support Kris by donating on his Justgiving page:

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

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Registered office: Tyneside Mind, Wellbeing Centre, Dunsmuir Grove, Bensham, Gatheshead NE8 4QL. Company Number: 7552434. Charity Number: 1140856.