Skydiving for mental health
May 22 2019
A marketing coordinator for Primary Care at Care UK Health Care in Reading is set to skydive from a plane 10,000 feet in the air to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.
Lisa Tiller from Bracknell recently overcame her own struggle with mental health when, after a series of events, she found it was becoming increasingly harder to leave her home.
She said: “I have a disabled dog, and his disability means he is ill a lot of the time and can’t be alone for very long. I was having to be at home for him more and more as his condition was getting worse which meant I wasn’t leaving the house as often.
“Sometimes I wouldn’t go outside for a week to two weeks at a time. I wouldn't see anyone for days, so didn’t have a reason to get dressed from day to day, and sometimes I wouldn’t even open my mouth to speak for hours at a time. My world was getting ever smaller and soon I was becoming afraid to leave the house or answer the door.
“The thought of taking my dog for a walk, stepping outside, would fill me with an intense anxiety and completely overwhelm me. I just couldn't do it. Being around people was getting harder and harder and all I wanted to do was to be at home, safe where nothing could happen to me.”
Seeing the light
It was while Lisa was huddled scared at home, the door bell ringing and the dog barking, that she knew she had to try and do something to change this pattern. She continued: “I didn't want to be that person I was turning into. I didn’t know where that path would eventually lead me, but I knew it wasn’t yet too late for me.
“I started by getting out into the garden. Gradually I would start walking to the local shop, getting a coffee on my own, taking my dog out again, then to committing to doing a weekly pub quiz, a weight loss programme with a friend, to seeing family and friends more often. These small steps lead to me having the confidence to start saying yes to more of what life has to offer.
Recently Lisa was even able to attend the Care UK Health Care Awards in London. She said: “It was incredibly inspiring to see how much good is done by colleagues around Care UK Health Care on a daily basis. But this also gave me the chance, after the ceremony, to travel around London on the tube by myself seeing sights I’d wanted to see for a long time. Since then, I have had my very first audition for a play, and have tried to keep going with getting myself outside and interacting with the world.”
Lisa booked her skydive after she was inspired to do so while reading a book. She said: “They mentioned in the book about a skydive they’d recently done and I drifted off thinking how I’d love to do one too. I realised the only thing stopping me – was me. I booked one there and then.
“I chose Mind as the charity I would like to raise money for because there are plenty more people out there that need support with their mental health. Many of whom likely wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Mind.”
“I’m not cured fully. I have to push myself out the front door every time I leave the house, but having something to aim for keeps me focused and on the right track. I’ve never before been so open about my issues with mental health, but fundraising has meant I have had to do just that. I’ve had to find a voice I didn’t know I had and let people in so that they may understand why this event and cause is important to me.”
On 21st June Lisa will take-off from Swindon airfield to take on the dive to raise funds and awareness for MIND. Anyone wishing to support Lisa in her fundraising efforts can do so here, or by visiting https://www.wonderful.org/fundraiser/lisasliteralleapoffaithskydivingformind-66a20945