A Stratford mother of two says exercise is one of the things she does to keep herself mentally healthy, and she is using this to raise funds for a local mental health group.

Kirsten Howard has signed up for the Nexans Fun Runs which take place around Taranaki and is asking people to support her by donating to www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/supporting-families-taranaki' target='_blank'>givealittle page.

Kirsten says the funds raised will all go to Supporting Families in Mental Illness Taranaki, a group which supports families and individuals dealing with mental illness.

The group,has supported her own family over the last few years and she hopes to now help them through her fundraising.

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Kirsten runs in tie-dyed clothing to stand out and bring attention to her cause. She says she has had really positive feedback from people she has spoken to at the runs.

"Most people know someone who struggles with mental wellness so it is good to talk and share my story to show there is help out there and there is hope."

Kirsten says she is working with Supporting Families to plan their own fun run event in 2020.

"We are already talking to local businesses and individuals about this, and hope to be able to put on a great event which will fundraise and raise awareness of the importance of mental wellness."

■ www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/supporting-families-taranaki