'La Marató' annual telethon raises over €9m for mental health

30 presenters hosted 30th edition of charity fundraiser from TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio 

€9,022,147 raised towards mental health in 2021 telethon (by La Marató)
€9,022,147 raised towards mental health in 2021 telethon (by La Marató) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 20, 2021 02:40 PM

After almost 15 hours of fundraising on TV3 and seven hours on Catalunya Ràdio, Catalonia's annual telethon 'La Marató' has raised over €9m for mental health.

The €9,022,147 total was revealed in the early hours of Monday morning, although that will rise in the coming days, with organizers asking members of the public to donate up until December 31.

The 30th edition of the fundraising marathon was focused on mental health, aiming to "break the stigma" by talking openly about mental health, raising awareness about asking for help in time and the need for more research, and listening to the experiences of people who have mental health struggles as well as the experiences of their loved ones.

More than 30 different presenters took part to mark the anniversary edition – many of them well-known faces and voices from TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio – including Lídia Heredia, Raquel Sans, Jordi Basté, Mònica Terribas, Laura Rosel, Gemma Nierga, Carles Francino and Ramon Gener.

As well the television studios, four stages were set up across Catalonia to host events, the return of a tradition that was dropped last year due to Covid-19: The Catalan National Museum of Art (MNAC) in Barcelona, the Seu Vella in Lleida, Tarragona's Roman amphitheater and the Dalí Museum in Figueres.

Hundreds of fundraising events took place on Sunday, such as the 10k run to the Old Cathedral in Lleida, in the west of Catalonia, now in its 40th year, and 'la marató per la Marató' (the marathon for the telethon) in Girona, where the local fire brigade helped to organize a marathon relay.

Throughout the televised broadcast, members of the public as well as well-known figures shared their stories of mental health troubles, stressing the importance of early diagnosis and the need to break taboos around discussing our mental wellbeing.

Covid-19, cancer, infectious diseases

Organized by public broadcasters TV3 and Catalunya Ràdio, every year since 1992 La Marató telethon raises millions in public donations for a different medical cause.

Last year, after around 18 hours of uninterrupted programming over €10 million was raised for research on Covid-19.  

In 2019, the telethon focused on rare diseases, and in previous years on cancer and infectious diseases