UFH Counselling Psychologist conquers Sanlam Cape Town Marathon to raise awareness about mental health

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Ms Thobeka Msengana, Manager of the UFH Student Counselling Unit, was among the more than 12 000 running enthusiasts from across the country and the world who participated in this year's Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. Msengana, a qualified Counselling Psychologist, ran and completed the 42.2 km elite race to raise awareness about mental health.

Held on the 15th and 16th of October, the global city, fast-paced, flat circuit route is a marathon open to a range of running enthusiasts, from elite athletes to social runners. The running festival weekend includes the Gold Label status road marathon, the 10km and 5km Peace road runs as well as two incredible Table Mountain Trail runs.

Msengana said as a Psychologist, she is fully aware that mental health should be a top priority in order for a person to function at their best.

“It is important for a person to identify what keeps them ‘sane’ because we live in stressful times brought about a number of issues such as the Covid-19 pandemic, gender-based violence, the current economic crisis and the alarming rate of violence. I ran this race to remind people that it is vital to keep sane during these trying times.”

“Once you find that one or two things that keep you sane and protect your mental health, you must make it a point that you are consistent in making time to do those things, especially on those stressful and sad days,” she said.

The avid runner says she also finds reading fiction as one of her biggest stress relievers.  “Running does not only relieve my stress, but it also helps me to connect with different people from all walks of life and I get to be in touch with nature which is also what draws me to outdoor running. It is not just for my physical health and mental health, it is also a spiritual thing for me because I believe nature brings me closer to God.”

Msengana says as a participant in the marathon she got to experience Cape Town and appreciate its beautiful surroundings and its people.

Congratulation Ms Msengana!