What's Happening in Douglas blog

Dad plans mountain climb

Retired social worker Ray Johnstone is planning to climb a mountain to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ray, 45, from Douglas, who suffers from the anxiety disorder after being in the army, wants to climb Kilimanjaro to encourage others like himself.

The dad-of-two hopes to make his climb later in the year after five months of training.

He said: “I would like to raise the awareness of mental health issues, and hopefully demonstrate that despite the presence of mental health distress, sufferers don’t need to hide away or be afraid to speak about their illness.

“For me it will be about reminding myself that I do have skills that I learnt in the army, that can be put to good use, rather than focusing on the negative aspect of army life.”

Ray has also set himself a target of raising £5,000 for the Manx Radio Dream Catcher Appeal with his trip.

The appeal raises money to provide gifts to deserving causes across the Isle of Man.

Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, has a 5,895-metre summit. Ray will take part in the climb with a group of other trekkers. His training includes walking around the island, swimming, gym work and playing football.

He added: “I am looking forward to the challenge and apart from spending time in a different country, the thing I am most looking forward to would be a successful climb to the summit to witness and experience the beauty of the sun rising over Africa, whilst being at the highest point of Africa.”

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