A HELENSBURGH woman who champions the benefits of walking after suffering from postnatal depression has raised hundreds of pounds for a mental health charity.

Morgane Westley, originally from Brittany, France, moved to the area in 2013 with her husband, who works at Faslane.

Morgane suffered from a mild form of postnatal depression after giving birth to her most recent child.

She said: “I was very lucky to have a friend that shared with me her diagnosis of postnatal depression, how she felt at the time and what she was doing to feel better.

“It is only because of her sharing that I managed to recognise that something was wrong, and that I needed help.

“By knowing the signs I managed to act quickly and therefore only suffered for a short and mild postnatal depression.”

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And now the 39-year-old has raised more than £600 for Scottish mental health charity Mind by walking their “100 Miles in May” challenge, where volunteers walk 100 miles throughout the month of May in order to boost their mental health.

“I offered a 15 minute coaching and walk session, for a donation of £15,” Morgane continued.

“It provided people with an opportunity to benefit from getting out walking but also to explore their thoughts and feelings.

“As a coach we can’t treat mental health issues, but you can definitely help people to keep a healthy mind by offering them a safe place to challenge their thoughts.

“I chose Mind because there’s a stigma about mental health. I just wanted to speak more about it and mental health issues.

“Mind have a lot of resources on their website where people speak about their mental health issues.

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“We’re not far from a million pounds raised from all the volunteers, they recruited 13,000 people for this May challenge. At the end of last week it was around £900,000 raised so far.”

With May 2021 being one of the wettest Mays on record, it was not always easy for Morgane or other walkers to work up the determination to pull on their shoes and head outside to get their steps in.

Morgane added: “I went walking with my kids on the Helensburgh seafront and it was so wet.

“My son loves a walk but this time he looked at me and went ‘Mummy, it’s too wet, we need to go home’, and it was mid-May! That day was tough.

“I was doing a coaching session with someone who donated and it was the beginning of the month and it was very, very wet.

“She put a review on my page saying she wouldn’t have been out that day if it was not for me.”

For more information on Mind visit mind.org.uk.