Back 2 Life

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Male mental health, hip hop and hashtags

Season 1, Ep. 3

Gemma Jennison is a registered mental health nurse and full time lecturer in Birmingham, also studying for a PhD in black males, mental health and hip hop. She’s been promoting hip hop nights since she was 16 and is a proud Mum. After witnessing two of her close friends make suicide attempts within two weeks of each other she founded a charity called The Man Down Project that helps men working in the music industry to have honest and meaningful conversations about their mental well-being and experiences of distress or trauma. 


Gemma is seriously impressive, sharp, funny and refreshingly straight talking with tons of insight both personal and professional to share. In this episode we talk about how growing up with a mother who had severe mental illness impacted her and inspired her career in mental health. We also talk about personality disorders, mental health services, armchair activism, being a sample geek, toxic masculinity and how to help your friends who are depressed and suicidal.

Of course we also talk about Man Down and the challenges of keeping a small charity going through the pandemic.


Trigger Warning: We talk about suicide in this episode.


Here is the link to Gemma's blog post mentioned: https://www.mandownprogramme.com/post/suicide-support-guidance

Mandown Website: https://www.mandownprogramme.com/

Mandown Instagram: @mandownprogramme_


Other Charities that can help if you need support:

Samaritans: https://www.samaritans.org/

CALM https://www.thecalmzone.net/

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/

Talk Club https://www.facebook.com/WeTalkClubUK/

Andy’s Man Club https://andysmanclub.co.uk/


If you enjoy this episode please subscribe, rate and review and come and join the conversation over on instagram @back2lifepod


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