Emily Mustafa, 28
“Hiking helps you forget about the stresses of everyday life.”
Last year Emily took part in Mind’s popular Snowdon at Night hike, climbing Wales’ highest mountain after dark. Here she explains why it’s one of the most amazing things she’s ever done, and why you should sign up to the next event.
“My dad was in a car accident when I was 2 years old. He suffered a head injury, and since then my mum’s been his full-time carer. It’s been tough on us as a family, but we’ve had amazing support from mental health teams, which was my driver to sign up for Mind’s Snowdon at Night hike. I wanted to help raise awareness for others going through what we went through, and for those who might not even realise what they are going through.
“I’ve been through my own struggles. It was only when I signed up for Snowdon at Night that I spoke openly and widely about my experiences. The support I received in response was amazing. Hiking gives you space to forget about the stresses of everyday life, because with little effort you can see the most beautiful things our country has to offer.
“I didn’t do any training. I felt healthy so thought I was fit enough – my advice to anyone is don’t underestimate how tough hiking can be, both physically and mentally. If I could go back I would do a bit more training. It was quite tough on my legs and there were points where I thought I was too tired to continue, but going through it with everyone else got me through. It was so cold and windy and the Welsh weather is very unpredictable. Once we all got up there we turned off our head torches and looked at the starry sky – it was beautiful.
“My advice would be to just do it and give it a go. I committed to do it but part of me was terrified and unsure if I could do it. It’s the most amazing thing I have done.”
Find out more about trekking for Mind HERE.