Broadcasting, Youth Work

Mental radio

My interest in mental health has only been recent, but has been an interesting journey into educating myself and others, as well as supporting them, in such a key area. Never did I think that I’d play a crucial role in this field so soon.

Anyone who is anyone will have been following my blogs (OK, so perhaps I’m not that great but we all need a bit of self-affirmation from time to time).

In one of those moments when life is having a lull and you’re not quite sure which direction you’re going in, along comes something a bit different that’s been staring you in the face for a while. You just needed someone to wave madly at you and say ‘coo-eee, over here. Yes, you. Did you know how capable and clever you are? You didn’t? Right, then listen up!’

I had one of those moments recently. I’d just got back into the broadcasting after a few weeks absence for personal reasons that I shan’t bore you with here, but having been doing my bit for Oxford’s patients for more than a decade, and hearing my developing interest in mental health, I was approached at the end of my evening broadcast this week by our new Programme Controller who is keen for me to produce my own series of programmes around the subject.

I was taken aback. There are no doubt many more people much more qualified than I to do this, but he has entrusted me with a crucial broadcast subject. I’ve so much on my plate at the moment, how on earth do I do it? No need to panic. I’ve a year to research, design, pitch, and get the green light.

Sometimes in life, things come and find you when you least expect them. I know it’s a cliche, but perhaps things do happen for a reason. So, Summer 2017 could see me introducing a brand new programme to Oxford’s Hospital’s. Excited? Too right. Whilst I love my regular co-host to pieces, there is no greater thrill in broadcasting than your own show.

Now all I need to do is select my content, design the programme, and of course, come up with a catchy programme name. Perhaps you’ve ideas of what could be included? I’m thinking guests, healthcare professionals, and so on are key, but what else? I’d love to hear from anybody who has lived with or is living with a mental health condition to know their views on what they think would help us spread the word.

Not only is this a great opportunity for me in being able to share mental health experiences with others, but also develop my love of broadcasting further in what will be a key year in the station’s history, as it celebrates half a century providing a free service to the patients of Oxford’s hospitals. The impact study of Hospital Broadcasting released earlier this year noted six key areas that Hospital Radio helps with, as below.

  • A sense of belonging
  • Feeling like an individual
  • Health & wellbeing
  • Entertainment
  • Social interaction
  • Calming & reassuring

All of which, in my experience, have also proven to be crucial in improving how mental health patients feel.

Perhaps this will be the start of something great?


Read the full impact study here

Leave a Reply