The challenge involves cuffing a 3kg Medicine Ball to your wrist for 7 days. It may not sound that heavy but being tied to the medicine ball continuously for seven days is a significant burden. The ball becomes a physical, visual and tangible representation of the invisible burden of mental health so many of us can experience.
The challenge aims to create awareness, encourage people to talk about their mental health and to break down the stigmas associated with mental health problems. It's ok to speak up and say 'I'm not ok'.
Sergeant Major Yeardley started the challenge on Friday 8th October. He spent time today (Saturday 9th October) visiting cadet training groups and explaining what the ball was for, what it symbolised and why he was taking on the challenge.
When the cadets asked why he was doing it, he said: “My reasons for doing the Medicine Ball Challenge are very personal ones. I personally have had mental health issues in the past and never spoke about it to anyone. I’ve had friends that have suffered and died through PTSD and even now, I have friends still struggling. If more people are aware that there is a problem, they may start asking if people are Ok, not just thinking people are Ok. Just having someone to talk to and admitting ‘it’s ok not to be ok’ will go along way to saving many lives.”
We are very proud of Sergeant Major Yeardley for taking on this challenge and raising awareness of the importance of mental health. If you would like to know more about the Medicine Ball Challenge or would like to donate to the cause, click the link below!