Thomas Dunning


I am a runner after accidentally finding out how running helps with mental health - being in a world where I was hearing and seeing things, psychotic rages and countless attempted suicides, running would be a main contributor to saving my life. (also losing 110 pounds in the process!)

See running really changes and transforms people's lives (even saved mine), whether it's for fitness, weight loss or even just the feeling of freedom. I don't run for times or distance, I just love the runhappy feeling I get after a run and physical exercise.

I'm also:
- Diagnosed: Borderline Personality disorder, PTSD and Social Anxiety Disorder
-director of the first steps forward programme - providing free footwear and training to those who want to use physical activity to help their mental health.
- Award winning Mental health blogger ( (
- Sought after multi-award winning international motivational/inspirational speaker 
- TED speaker & Host (
- Member of Brooks Running UK Run Happy Team 
- Run_Spire connect crew runner 
- published author "Surviving the war against yourself" with my wife. Available on Amazon, Waterstones and all good book retailers. 
- Run Leader for RunTalkRun Lincoln (Mental health running group) and regional leader for East Midlands.
- Lincolnshire NHS Service User Governor
- media volunteer and member for Mind and Rethink

I do this while working full time as a Mechanical Engineer.
I never want anyone to go through what I did and what I put wife though and that is why I founded mental health runner - to show your mental health issues will NEVER be a label or limitation 
With 1 in 4 people suffering with a mental health problem at some point in their life - there are always 3 others who can help save a life
Check out what Thomas says to our few questions and find out a little more :) 
What/who inspires you? 
Things that really inspire me is other people who are making positive changes in their lives, not for anyone else but for them selves - to aim for goals, dare to dream or even just fighting for their own mental health. 
What got you into Running?
To be honest, it was a pure fluke. I was living in a personal world where every day was a constant war against my own mental illness to even just survive through the day
Why do you drink hot chocolate or eat dark chocolate? 
Its the perfect way to round off a day weather it be a good or bad one. its a really easy wind-down and a smooth treat when your needing that time to relax. I prefer the dark chocolate variety because it stimulates the senses to also help as a grounding technique when I need it most.
What is your favourite product? 
My favourite product would have to be the dark chocolate bars. Sometimes when your relaxing its nice to have a hot chocolate especially in the evenings - but for that time of peace mid way through the day you can either make a drink, or have a bar of chocolate and have that moment to reflect and decompress 
What's your motto? 
I actually have two!
1) As long as you can look back on your life and say, "I did that" or "at least I tried" thats all that really matters.
2) No matter the time scale with a mental illness - 1 minute, day, year - you're no longer a sufferer, You are a Sur-Thriver.