A former soldier who tried to take his own life is presenting a new podcast and CD targeting inactive and isolated men in Leeds.
MenFM, which is a pilot project run by arts and health consortium Orion, contains features that aim to encourage men to take up activities and talk about their health.
The show’s host, Derek Green, has experienced his own struggles with mental health. The former soldier, who was medically discharged in 1985 due to fibromyalgia, returned home to find that he simply did not fit in any more. Having struggled to hold down a job he attempted to take his own life by jumping in front of a bus in 2013 - only to be saved by an elderly lady who pulled him back onto the pavement and told him to go and see a doctor.
Derek, of Pudsey, said: “Every day is still a day when I could slip back into depression. If I can help someone else then it makes me feel better, so I just concentrate on trying to give back.”
Created by local people and groups, the show’s content features comedy, music, health advice and testimonies. Contributors include comedian Mik Artistik, the Citizens’ Orchestra, Dodo Bones and Dr Alan White, the world’s first professor of men’s health from Leeds Beckett University.
Damian Dawtry, men’s engagement worker for Orion, said: “Through this project we hope to reach out to men, inspire them to reach out to services and take a more active role in their own wellbeing. We want to show them that they are not alone and make a real difference to their lives.”
The project will be launched on Tuesday and the show will be available for download at https://soundcloud.com/menfmleeds. To attend the launch or for a copy of the show contact Damian on 07981 755328.