Sahara run just part of effort to improve Dundee’s mental health

© SuppliedLouise Johnstone.
Louise Johnstone.

A Dundee personal trainer who donned trainers and sand-proof goggles to run in a 156-mile race through the Sahara desert has said she is determined to use her experience to help improve Dundee’s mental health.

Fitness fanatic Louise Johnstone, 35, completed the epic Marathon Des Sables earlier this month.

As a result of her endeavours, the personal trainer has raised more than £4000 for Dundee Association for Mental Health.

Louise, who has suffered from her own mental health challenges in the past, described the race as “the biggest challenge she has ever faced”.

Though she concedes there were times during her desert quest that she felt like throwing in the towel, the thought of helping people who have faced similar challenges inspired her to continue.

The inspirational runner told The Courier: “It was more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

“I run to save my own mental health and it’s ironic that I’m raising money for a mental health charity and this challenge took more out of me mentally than it did physically.”

A video message of support from her idol, Dame Kelly Holmes, inspired Louise to complete her challenge and now she is determined to inspire others.

She said: “This is something I am 100% passionate about as there is still so much stigma surrounding mental health.

“I’ve been going into schools to talk about mental health. Hopefully people can start to it in a different light.”

To learn more about Louise’s journey or to donate, visit