Just About Coping

Ep 4: Jonny Benjamin

November 12, 2019 MHFA England
Just About Coping
Ep 4: Jonny Benjamin
Show Notes Transcript

**Content Warning**
This episode contains discussion of a suicidal crisis and suicidal ideation.

Jonny Benjamin MBE is a writer, filmmaker, public speaker, and award-winning mental health campaigner. Since starting his YouTube channel in 2010, Jonny has gone on to make documentaries for BBC Three and Channel 4 and write a book about the time he was prevented from attempting suicide in 2008 by a passerby. 

He is passionate about improving mental health education and this year launched a charity called Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma with Neil Laybourn, the man who saved his life on Waterloo Bridge, which delivers talks and workshops to young people and their families and educators.

Among many things Jonny and Simon discussed: 

  • Stigma, and the impact of growing up a gay man with a mental illness in a Jewish community
  • Why we need to listen to young people about mental health, our attitudes to social media, and the need to connect with each other more
  • The challenges of busy modern life and how to properly slow down
  • How giving each other hope can save lives

Jonny's new book, The Book of Hope, will be published in 2020.

We'd love to know what you think! If you could take a moment to rate and review wherever you get your podcasts we would very much appreciate your feedback. You can do this on most platforms including:

Don't forget to get involved on social media using #JACPodcast!

More on Jonny:
Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma: beyondshamebeyondstigma.co.uk
The Stranger on the Bridge: amazon.co.uk/Stranger-Bridge-Journey-Despair-Hope/dp/1509846425
Jonny's YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/johnjusthuman

More on Simon: twitter.com/Simonablake
Simon Blake OBE is the Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England. His mission is to improve the mental health of the nation and help build an inclusive and  society where attitudes and behaviours around mental health are normalised. Simon received an OBE in 2011, is Deputy Chair at Stonewall, and enjoys running, equestrian eventing, and walks with his dog.

More on #JACPodcast:
MHFA England: mhfaengland.org
Email: media@mhfaengland.org

Speaker 1:

Hello, it's Simon here. Before we introduced the next podcast, I want to say a big thank you to everybody for listening to just about coping and for your ratings and reviews so far. It's great to read that. So many of you are enjoying it as much as I am recording it. I just want to play back to you two other views that we've received so far. The first one on iTunes, little Dave two two six nine I could relate to many things that Ruby was talking about from my own very real struggles with mental health and the process of coping. The second on Twitter from every kind to another great podcast this week, loved hearing about Alexander's obsession with kindness and his path to acceptance. A lot resonated. Thank you. We'd love to hear what you think, so please do keep sending them in particularly nice ones. May get a readout and please do remember to use hashtag J a C podcast on social media, so that's enough from me. Let's get on with introducing the fourth episode of just about coping.

Speaker 2:

How long have we been talking about coming in for an hour ? Okay. Cool. Great. No , cool. I'm Simon Blake and this is just about coping this week. My fourth guest is Johnny Benjamin , the mental health campaigner and author of two books, the first one stranger on the bridge already published. And the second one, soon to be published. The book of hope, Johnny and I had a wide ranging conversation. He talked about his own lived experience of mental illness, about stigma, about shame, about his hopes for the future and about the importance of teaching young people as part of our mission to make mental health possible everyday conversations. If those issues are ones that you find interesting. I know that you'll enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Happy listening.

Speaker 1:

Johnny, really pleased to have you here in my office today. Thanks very much for making it through the rain. And I guess just would let start by telling people who you are. Lots of people know you but

Speaker 3:

many won't . Sure. So I'm Dani Benjamin and um , I am a metal campaigner , um, film maker , writer and public speaker. And can you tell us how you became all of those things? Sure. So, I guess for me, I started making films in my, in my mid twenties. Um, so seven, seven, eight years ago , um, I started making films as a way of , um, communicating what was going on for me. Um, I'd been diagnosed with a Schizoaffective disorder, so , um , like a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar and , um, I found it really, really, really difficult to , to talk about, talk about that I was struggling with struggling with my sexuality as well. Found it also equally difficult to discuss that. So as I know, making films was , um, my medium of, of , uh, communication, what was going on. Um, and that's how I , that's how I started really, that that led me to make a BBC three documentary on a young people's mental health. And , um, then that led me to make another documentary called the stranger on the bridge , um, which was , uh, which was out on channel four, which , um , told the story of, of, of me finding guide that stopped me from, from jumping off a bridge when , uh, just after I'd got that diagnosis , um, uh , I was in hospital, I ran away from hospital, ended up on a bridge and this guy taught me off and years later I did this search to find him and found him. And yeah, we made this documentary together. So that's how I kind of got started. Can you tell us what sorts of things you were, you were telling people what type of things you were trying to work out for yourself? Yeah, I mean , um , I was, it's when I got that diagnosis, Schizoaffective disorder , um, no , I , I, no one could really talk about it. My family, my friends, me, I, we just found it really hard to get to communicate , um, around it. It was just kind of the elephant in the room after I got that diagnosis. And , um, I just, I was kind of tired of having to hide it and not talk about it. So , um, I wanted to communicate, you know, what it was like essentially symptoms, what I'd been through and having a psychotic episodes. Cause I think there's a lot of stigma still attached to particularly like psychosis. Um, still a lot of misunderstanding about, you know, schizophrenia and , um , just wanting to break down some of those myths. So I started to be a bit kind of creative in terms of , um, because I , I was a really creative person and then when I got my diagnosis , um, kind of changed everything. I just , uh, has it , no , I lost, I lost a lot of creativity and I lost a lot. Um, but making these films , um, got me back in touch with my like creativity and , um, and I think the, for me it was also making these films and putting them on YouTube allowed me to connect to other people that had , um, the same kind of struggles. Cause I know I'm from a Jewish community in North London. We did not talk about , uh, I knew no one with a mental health issue. I knew no one that was gay and I was just , um, I felt really isolated. So that's why I made these films that put them on YouTube and then it allowed me to start yeah. Connecting to to other people and, and building up a kind of community, which was a big part of my kind of journey.

Speaker 1:

And one of the things which you talked about there was obviously stigma and we'll, we'll come back to that a bit later. And I think, you know, certainly when I started working in mental health and, and heard your story, it was giving , uh , an awareness and an understanding that may previously, as you say, not be there in most communities, but they also very quickly after that , uh, you sent an email which was about hope and just interested in that moment where you say you're feeling isolated and feeling like you didn't know anybody. How the films helped you in terms of a sense of hope and what your understanding of, of the importance of hope is is now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. See, I think the thing actually that really bothered me when I started making films, when I got involved in , in the films, that'd be to start working in mental health, making documentaries, working for mental health charities. And what bothered me actually was that lack of hope that I saw so often. Um, you know, people would message me after watching my films and say, you know, I'm struggling. I can't tell anyone. Or they would say I'm trying to get help, but I can't. Or they would say I'm getting help, but I'm not getting anywhere with it. Uh, there was just such , um, such a lack of , of yeah. Kind of hopefulness. I think. So the first time I was in hospital when I was 20, when I got my diagnosis , um, that hospital and other hospitals that have been in there is this kind of sense of despair and, and yeah. Kind of hopelessness. Um, have you been into a psychiatric unit

Speaker 1:

time ago? Uh , but uh, in, in the 80s. So not in recent times.

Speaker 3:

What was it like then? Pretty bleak. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Uh, I was visiting , uh , an old , um, an older woman who was a neighbor and there wasn't much sense of her humanity, obviously , experience in dementia.

Speaker 3:

Sure, sure. And then that's what, yeah, that's what I found so often. So that led me to kind of really start thinking about , um, well how can we change that sense of hopelessness and despair? And particularly, it really, really does bother me when, you know, I see young people , um , they say to me, most of the point, you know, I'm never gonna if, especially if they've got, you know , something about depression, I'm never going to be happy again. Um , what just was the point? And it's so sad when you see it, you know, someone that's 14 or 15, whatever saying to you, you know, what's the point of living when, you know, I'm never gonna never gonna get through this. I'm never gonna see the light of day again. And I think , um, again, I , I, I often compare mental, physical health. Um, and so where my dad, my dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer a few years ago and when he got his diagnosis , um, the way it was delivered to him was so different to the way that, you know, I got my mental health diagnosis when he was given his diagnosis of prostate cancer. There was hope in the kind of delivery and he was given all these like books , uh , small book booklets about, you know, what to expect during your , um, your treatment and what to expect maybe after treatment and your recovery. And these books, we , me and my dads talk through the books and these books were colorful. They had colorful imagery, positive imagery, positive language, and again, like compare it to mental health. And there's nothing like that when you get a mental health diagnosis and a mental still, I was at an event the other day where was, I was just a few days ago. And the picture , um, for the event cover was someone with their head in their hands. Um, no in in utter despair. Um, and there is still this, yeah, kind of negative , um, perception of, you know, whatever it is, depression, anxiety, OCD. And it's just this perception of, you know, it's, it's just a spare . It's only the spirit . Um , and it is obviously of course there's to despair that , but we don't focus enough on the, on the hope side of things on the , on the, on the, you know, on the recovery side of things. Uh , I think there's too much focus on the , um, that, that negative, that negative side. So that's why essentially that's a long way of saying, you know, that's why I'm so interested in that concept of, of hope, because, you know, that was the thing that when I was on the bridge and that was the thing that , um, changed my mind about what I wanted to do was this stranger saying to me, mate, you'll be fine. You know, you will get better. Um, and just instilling some hope in me was the thing that changed everything. So when I talked to, you know, do work in the NHS and talk to um, psychiatrists and muddled nurses, I say, you know, don't underestimate, don't underestimate, you know, what hope can do to someone who is really, really unwell. Cause often I think , um, I'm generalizing but I see this kind of compassion fatigue often. Um, I , it's hard because, you know, mental health people are working in, you know, inpatient units only see people when they're at their worst and they don't see people when they have come out the other side cause they'll only see people. Yeah, they're very, very lowest. Um, so I think it's important for them to, people with lived experience. I have got the right to go back and say, you know, we have got, we have come through the other side cause they need to see that. To know that , um,

Speaker 1:

you know, that hope is so important and hope doesn't actually cost money. And so we often hear about what can't be done because of resource. But it does require a mindset shift. So when you are talking to people in the NHS or if there are teachers or parents listening to this mental health first aid is , if you could replay back to the point of your diagnosis and it being delivered and the discussion and the takeaways in, in the way that you would have hoped, what would, what have , how would that have been? How different would that have been? What would have been different?

Speaker 3:

Oh, I'm my to , I mean, I mean, I hope my psychiatrist is not listening for this. Well , no. Do you know what like, Oh, even if , if, even if he is, I mean, I guess it's important for him to know that the way that, you know, when he sat me down and with my parents to say, you know, you've got this diagnosis and um, it was just so negative. Um, he was like, Johnny, you are seriously unwell and we don't know what's going to happen to you. And you know, you've got to take these medications. They're very strong and they've got lots of side effects and you know, you'll have to be on the FALive and everything was just delivered in such a , um, the , uh , there was a lot of, I mean, me and my parents, we came away with , um, a lot of fear, a lot of fare , a lot of kind of , um, you know, everything was was. So , um, I just wish the site, my psychiatrist could have been more , um, yeah, delivered, delivered , uh, more , more hope and said, you know, well you have to as Bart Bart , um, you know, we can get you through this and we can get you out the other side and things can get better. So I've got a psychiatrist now, I see. And , um, she is very different. So when I have become unwell and had to go back into the hospital, I've had a relapse. Um, the first thing she says to me and my parents, she's like, right, we're going to get you better. We're going to get you, we're gonna get you sorted. Um, and that makes such a difference to me and to my parents as well. The fact that she's so I'm hopeful it really, it really does. It really does make a difference.

Speaker 1:

And yeah, I guess the lesson for everyone here is you can give difficult news and difficult information in a very positive way, which helps people to manage and to look. And as you say, there are lots and lots of examples of people doing well both within mental health field and within physical health and equally lots of examples in both. Not, not so good, but that notion of, of hope, I guess stigma , uh, relates a lot to that. And your, you, you have a new organization, new charity beyond stigma, beyond shame. Uh, again, just talk to me a bit about about stigma. Yeah, I mean for

Speaker 3:

stigma. Um , well a lot of people, a lot of people say, you know, it's the stigma that's sometimes harder to deal with than the kind of maybe illness itself. Um, I think yeah, for me it's different now cause um, I , I do, I talk about it, I'm very open about my mental health. But growing up , um, I was so , um, scared about what people would think of me if they knew what was going on inside my head. I didn't get anything at school, which is why I'm so passionate now about going into schools. When I was in school, when I was in secondary school, the one thing on on mental health I got was , um, I think I was 15, 16, and they know I was, well I call it 16, 17. And anyway they showed us the film one flew over the Cuckoo's nest. And um, have you seen, have seen it? Yeah, I mean it's, the acting is brilliant in it, but Oh my God, that, that film , um, scab it , it really, really scared me cause um, I was struggling. I was really struggling at that point, but I hadn't told anyone. And after seeing that film, I was like, I can't tell anyone what is going on in my head cause I'm going to end up in a place like that. Um, where people are , um, people are kind of written off. Um, yeah, there was, there was so much, there was so much going on for me. Um, growing up and , um, I was uh , yeah, I was just, I was, I was terrified. And even after I got my diagnosis, it took me a long time actually to really start opening up and telling people that , you know, I had this diagnosis, this Schizoaffective disorder and , and the fact that I was going to be a long time and actually , um, telling people I was gay was , was harder than for me personally and telling people that had a mental health issue. And I think that relates a lot to my Jewish community where I grew up. Cause , um, it's , it's getting better. But there was a lot of stigma, you know. Um, I heard it, I heard it around me growing up, you know , um, there was this kind of perception that things like mental illness happened to other people, not to us. Um, and that, I don't know people in , in, in , uh, in my community, you know, they're all straight. Who was this kind of , um, yeah, perception. And , uh, there's this expectation as well. Um, and not just the Jewish community , lots of other communities as well, but there's this expectation of, you know , um, to be on a certain life path. I think , uh, you know, you , you, you get married, you have your family, you have a good job. And when I kind of became ill and , um, I realized that that wasn't my life path. I felt a lot of shame , uh , embarrassment and yeah, I felt a lot of shame on, I fought , I bought shame on my family or my sort of community. I felt a lot. Yeah, I bought a lot of shame on people. Um, so yeah, shame, stigma , um, kind of dominated for me, my, my teens, my twenties. Um, and it's horrible. Is this such a horrible , um, kind of existence when you have to , uh, you have to really, really hide your true self because you're so worried about what other people are gonna think. If they know that the real you, it's , um , it makes me really sad , uh, when I know that other people were , you know, have to live that like existence where they had to completely conceal what is, what is going on

Speaker 1:

internally for them, which is tiring and difficult on top of everything which you're dealing with and having to process and work through that itself . So tell us a bit about your hopes for the charity that you set up to tackle some of the stigma and some of the shame.

Speaker 3:

So I mean , um, yeah, my, my B thing is getting in young. Um, if we can, we can start early enough , uh, you know, particularly things for boys when he was growing up. Um, I was really, really sensitive when I was like really small, really sensitive. I would S you know , uh , quite, quite, quite a lot. Um, but then when I got to the age of like seven, something like that, you know, the adults around me started saying, you know, common Johnny, you know, big boys don't quite know , and you , you've got to , you've got to stop the tears. You've got to man up now. Um, and that's , uh , I think it's quite damaging because then I said to myself, well, I have to suppress. I have to suppress everything now. Um , you know, I have to be what other people want me to be, so I need to suppress it all. Um, and so yeah, my it might be thinking is , is trying to get into school with primary school was actually , um, and, you know, tell young people that it's okay. It's okay if they, I'm , I feeling , uh , vulnerable if they have, you know, challenging emotions, if, you know , they're struggling, whatever it is. I mean , um , I just don't think if I got that message when I was really young. Um, I remember when I was at school, we had so many like external speakers come in and talk about, Oh, you could do this career and you know , you could be this person when you leave school. And there was one only one external speaker that came in and he was from Pixar. Uh , he was, that's talked about, you know , um, yeah, like the world of animation Pixar. And it was so exciting. But he started off by saying that he had really struggled at school and you know, he was really vulnerable on, on, on stage talking to , um, all of us. And that was like, I remember thinking, wow, like never seen like anyone be so yeah. Honest and open and just really, really vulnerable when it was , um, it was kind of a, a revelation. And , uh, again, that's why I now go into schools and , um , try and be open and honest and vulnerable because I'm , especially now this world of social media where everyone just sees this highlight reel. Um, you know, your Instagram and your Snapchat and it's like , um, I think young people are growing up with this , um, miss misperception really of what the world is really like, cause they're only seeing these people's highlight reels. So it was even more need to go into schools and be like , um, life is actually pretty art . It can be really hard and that's okay. And there are ways to deal with that. Um, and when you're going into schools, are the stories familiar

Speaker 1:

that people are talking to about, you'll obviously get people, children, young people who talk to you afterwards. Do they, does it feel like progress is being made or is it all,

Speaker 3:

yeah, because I mean, it's amazing. Like I went back to my old school a few months ago , um , when I was at school, no one ever talks about mental health or anything like to do with sexuality. Not it , no one ever talked about it. And when I went back to my old school, these 15, 16 year olds were just very openly saying, well yeah, no, I'm BI , you know, and I've struggled with , um, depression. Y'all had anxiety last year. She was really open and that was amazing to see. I was like, wow, that, you know, I feel like progress is being made but still got a long way to go. I think it's still, it's still a long way to go. Um, and I feel like young people are dealing with more complex issues than ever before. Maybe again because of things like social media, technology and um, we need to give them that space to be able to talk and express what's going on for them. I did a workshop recently with young people on social media and um, you know, all these young people were saying, well, you know, we just get told to just turn off our phones or stop the social media or stop the gaming. But you know, they don't understand what it's like and no one wants to listen to us. And yeah, I think we really need to , um, stop just shutting people down and yeah .

Speaker 1:

But we also know that social media can be a real force for good. Absolutely . Yeah . A few weeks ago, Denise Welch talked about her. I did a video about her experiences , um , whilst the depressive episode and young people are accessing help and advice. So if you were to think back to being at, well , actually you're young enough that social media and YouTube, when I was growing up, none of those things existed. So yeah, there's, there's a generational a bit there. But if you could think actually what,

Speaker 3:

what were the best bits of

Speaker 1:

social media? What were the best things about having those platforms available? Because it's so easy to demonize the bad without amplifying the good. Right .

Speaker 3:

And I'm not that young. So , um, I actually grew up without , uh , any of it without like had YouTube. You told them? No, we're the only one . I got to like two in my twenties as a teenager. I had , um, I , I didn't have any of that as a teenager. I was like, what's that my space? Yeah. Mindspace and Bebo and like all of those sorts of things, which were never really that popular. Well, they weren't, no, sorry. They were , but they weren't access like, you know, so, but no, when I got into my twenties, definitely , um, social media was, was, was a force for good in terms of helping me to connect to other people that were going through similar things that w that re like people from all over the world. That was really quite something, you know , um, I didn't know anyone in my local, you know, community that was struggling with their mental health at the time. But now I was talking to all these people from all over the world that were, you know, had gone through similar things or going through some of the things, and that really, really did make, make a difference. Um, and , uh, online, there's a really positive mental health community. There really is. I actually just today I , um, I've been involved in a bit of a , uh, what's the words , um, little bit of a spat on, on online, on social media , um, because , uh, recently Prince Harry was, was at an award ceremony. I don't know if you saw her and he, he got very emotional. We got very upset and he, yeah. Uh, started, started crying. And so he's just been criticized for, for showing too much emotion and scent journalists had been picking on him. Um, because he was, he was too emotional. They said they , he made it about himself, but he was just expressing emotion and you know, that's, anyway, I , um, I got into that kind of yes, back with certain journalists about the way they've, you know, talks about Prince Harry and like the support from, you know, the mental health community as always is , is amazing in terms of , um, trying to fight that stigma, you know, trying to stick up for each other. So really special kind of online mental health community, really, really special. Um, and you know, I know I've kind of talked quite negatively about things like Instagram, but no, Instagram is brilliant in terms of so many kind of what I love on Instagram is like the , um, body positive movement, which I love. Uh, you know, people like Ronnie Gordon , uh, body palsy , Panda, do you know, Cody Posey founder ? She's great. She's great. She , um , just all about, you know, just being positive with exactly who you are. Not needing to change anything , uh, flaws at all. And , um, so know that social media absolutely is a force for good as well. And I'm certainly not going anywhere. I think some parents will speak to her like , you know , I just wish that they'd stop Snapchat or I just wished they'd get rid of Instagram, but it's not going anywhere and we need to get used to it. Yeah, good luck putting that genie back in the bottle. Even if we wanted to get right, the slowing down. Um , we often , um, forget to slow down. When you are slowing down, what do you do to, to look after yourself? Yeah. See that's the thing. Like I'm sitting here, I'm saying that, you know, we should all slow down and yet when I looked back to my past six weeks, I've not slowed down once. Um, I mean, the last time I slowed down was, yeah. This summer I actually, I took a week out, which I've not done for a long time. I took a week out, week out and I went to when Spain and , um , just kind of, yeah, I spent time with myself. Um, so when I'm , when I'm , when I'm slowing down, I was doing things like I'm writing. For me, writing is , um, you know, kind of reflective writing is a, is a good practice for me. Um, and not, and not writing on my phone. Like sometimes I just write my notes and actually with a pen, you know, writing on my, in my notebook, it felt quite weird cause I'm so used to, you know, quickly jotting down notes on my iPhone quickly, got , got to write this note, got to do this thing. So it was nice to actually, you know, spend time writing with a pen in my, in my diary. So reflective writing for me , uh , walking in, getting out of sort of live in London, getting out of the city, going into nature. Um, do you know what the best thing actually for me is actually , um, uh, just leaving my watch or phone somewhere where like if I go, so like I said, going out in nature, going camping and um, I actually kind of love , uh, when I go camping and you know, I have no service on my phone and um, I can just, and I, yeah, turn my phone off, get rid of my watch and I just spend the day where I don't need to worry about time. I've got to be here by this time. I've got to get this train, I've got to do the job . I mean I just forget time. Um, that's quite powerful I think. And that's something that , um, I wish we could all do more of. Sometimes I do gratitude journals, you know, like three things every day that I'm grateful for. And again, that kind of makes me have to stop and be like, okay , let's just think about, cause I don't know about you, but I know myself, like every year that goes by, this is a bit, but every year that goes by I'm saying to other people, Oh my God, this, he's gone so quick and this, it has gone. It's just literally phone by because it's just been so busy and nonstop and just, there's been no time to actually stop and, and you know, take a breath. And one of the things you've been doing that's been keeping you busy is writing a book. Good job that you like writing. Guess you haven't hand written it, but to tell us a , just bit about the book. Yeah, sure. So , uh, yeah, so I published my first book in paperback , uh , uh, earlier this year. And then I'm currently working on my second book, which is called the book of hope. And you're in it , uh , which is very grateful for , um, yeah, it's various people's , um, writings on, on, you know, what, what hope means to them, how they found hope. Um, how they may be overcame a difficult period. Um, again, I see a lot of people out there who are talking about mental health now, which is great. Um, but often I see , um, you know, particularly maybe high profile people are saying, you know, yes, I, I had anxiety and it was , it was really tough. Yeah. I went through depression and , um , really, really hard. But , um, you know, I want to know how they go out there and you know, how they found that hope that they needed. And , um, often it's , uh , we don't get to hear kind of, we don't get to hear that, you know, how they are , how they, how they accessed, where they found that hope from, that that kept them going. It's , um, again, with the kind of the media often it's just like kind of the stories quickly told and you know , uh , and , and , and they tend to focus on the , the, the really tough stuff, you know, which , which is important, but the tough stuff, like this is what it was like when I went through my really bad period of, of, of depression. And , um, yes, that's important and we are talking about that more, which is great, but we also need to talk more about , um, yeah, that kind of, that hope angle. Um, how they got through it. That's what gets me through difficult periods is hearing how other people got through their own difficult periods. Um, so I wanted to, yeah, make a really kind of order to make it really positive, hopeful book , um, was, he is really important to focus on, you know, the really difficult stuff, but it's also equally important to focus on, you know, how people can get through that and how they can learn to manage whatever it is. So that's what I really wanted to focus on in , in the , in the next book and

Speaker 1:

sharing stories is obviously , um, you really, really powerful and you generously share yours with lots of people. Lots of the time. We're making a real, real difference. Just to finish, it'd be really keen to get your sense of, as a person with a lived experience of , of living with a mental illness, what is your greatest hope for the world? We want to see?

Speaker 3:

Um, that's a really, really good question. Uh, I'd really like to see more , um, well actually, to be honest, more of a, well not even more. I'd like to see a bit of a revolution in the way that we address mental health, mental treatment without support. Um, yeah, it's, I think just too often I hear that, you know, typical story of someone goes there when they finally get the courage to go to the GP, then how to go onto the long waiting list for help for therapy. And when they finally get to therapy, it's like, right, you got six sessions to sort this out. And uh , [inaudible] . Um, and then that's it. And I just , it's just, I just feel things could be really different. I feel like we're stuck in a, we've got this system where we're , we're , we're stuck in and I've spoken to MPS about it and they said, well, you know, like the count, the whole thing with comms ending 18 and being people being chucked out the , the , the system and then having nowhere to go and yeah, speaking to MPS , they say, well, it's , you know, it's a big thing to change, you know, having to change the whole system the way it works. And I'm like, well, yeah, but you know, too many people are not getting the help and support they need. So I really, I mean, if we could live in a world where everyone who struggled with their mental health got what they needed in terms of, you know, how to move forwards and how to, I just, yeah. I think, I think we've still got a long way to go really. Um, it's , it's amazing that we're all talking about mental a lot more, but it's not enough . What about when, you know, people do really need that help.

Speaker 2:

It's just , um, it's not, it's not available enough and the right type of help and support is not available. So , um, yeah, if we could live in a world where , um , the rights help was available at the right time, or you could , could make a massive difference, right. Help in the right time, the right way, it doesn't feel like too big a thing to ask for, but clearly if it's a big change, we've got a long way to go and we'll keep on until we get. Yeah , absolutely. Certainly. Thanks very much. Thank you.

Speaker 4:

[inaudible]

Speaker 2:

I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Johnny as much as I did. You can find further information about his two books and his charity beyond shame , beyond stigma in the description. I'm Simon Blake. Thank you for coping with us. Until next time.