There comes a time in a man’s life when he should embark on a pilgrimage – so says Satish Kumar. In actual fact he suggests that when a man reaches middle age he should be off on his second jolly. He is a Jain monk – I, on the other hand, am an atheistic, bald ex senior social worker carrying more weight than he would like, with a mental health problem.

On April 6th 2011 I began a tour of the UK with the aim to circumnavigate this fair island on foot, relying solely on the kindness of other people for food, water, shelter and compassion.

The reason for the date is simple – it was the 34th anniversary of my mum’s death. She died of cervical cancer when I was 12. My dad, devastated by this, turned to alcohol, often leaving my brother, 1 year older than me, and I to fend for ourselves.

This is not the story of my slide into the world of mental health problems – I’ll blog that up in bitesized chunks for easy digestion. Hopefully it illustrates that a combination of crazy events and a touch of faulty brain wiring can lead to the normaility of mental health difficulties.

I will be looking for sponsorship for my two chosen charities – I will post the links up for these later and how folk can donate.

This particular journey is not so much about me – it’s about the people I visit on my way, their beauty and kindness and the the beauty of this lovely island that we share. I want to hear and share the stories of anyone who feels they have felt the squeeze of prejudice or where they felt their words were unheard.

My motivation comes through the feelings of isolation and prejudice I have experienced because of my condition, and my knowledge of the discrimination felt by so many users of social work services – Older people, people with a physical disability, people with mental health problems, people with a learning disability, people from minority ethnic groups, people who choose a different god and people who choose to live their lives in different ways.

But not just them. I want to hear the voice of the middle classes – the tax payers – the majority who feel they are unheard.

This is a reaction against the mainstream press who portray a divided and scared Britain – a dangerous Britain full of individuals who look after themselves – a Britain where there is no society, let alone a big one.

Go to any of the mainstream newspaper websites – ok, The Mirror is the exception – type in any of the following words or phrases into that papers’ search engine and look at the stories they generate –

“Mentally ill” ; “Benefits”; “Travellers” or “Travelling People”; “Hindus”; or “Immigrants”

There are many more I’m sure, but you’ll get the picture.

Help me to prove them wrong – show that although we are divided we are not yet conquered

Last year we raised almost £1000

Last year we proved that the people of the UK were kind and compassionate, offering me food, shelter and support more times than I actually needed it.

Let’s continue the story.

Walk a mile in my shoes.


12 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Survivors News and Reviews » Blog Archive » This Week’s Links (weekly)

  2. Joyce says:

    I am collecting names of men with BPD for a future blog post to show that women aren’t the only ones who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. Do you mind if I add your name to my list? If you’d like, please use the link below to contact me with any information you’d like to share with my readers. Thank you!


  3. Diana Reno says:


  4. Pingback: 16/01/16 Fit for work? | Walk a Mile in My Shoes

  5. Pingback: Blog | Walk a mile

  6. Karen Algacs says:

    Hi Chris,
    Best of luck in all of your raising awareness, in a earlier blog you mentioned my brother Mark Algacs, Can you tell me more about your friendship?

    • Hi Karen, lovely to hear from you. I think this is a conversation best had through email or something like that? My email address is c.mcculloughyoung@yahoo.co.uk

      I’m a bit busy over the weekend – but, if you send me an email, I’ll reply as soon as I can.

      In brief though – my memory of him is purely positive – and schooldays based.

      Hopefully we can be in touch soon.

      Cheers for now


  7. Hi, great to connect with you. I admire your perspective and I too am someone who has mental health issues and I’m in my last year of study to become a social worker. Wishing you all the best with your travels. God Bless

  8. Hello Chris,

    You might be interested to know about New Vision for Mental Health (http://www.newvisionformentalhealth.com/) … a new website that focuses on a central question: “What would our mental healthcare system look like if, knowing what we know today, it was redesigned from scratch?”

    It looks to gather and provide answers to this question by taking a critical, informed and constructive look at the current mental health system, the concepts on which it rests and its constituent parts.

    It explores ideas, insights and suggestions – from a wide range of individuals and organisations – that might, in time, lay the foundations for a new and quite different approach to mental healthcare.

    Access is completely free and open to everyone.

    Regards, Richard (Editor and Curator)

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