This September, as part of #WorldSuicidePreventionDay, South Eastern Regional College’s (SERC) Community Radio Station, Lisburn 98FM, welcomed the cameras into their studio, taking part in UTV Live’s feature on suicide prevention.

Lisburn 98FM’s popular podcast, “Mind Your Bap”, a positive community initiative highlighting mental health and suicide prevention through discussion of real stories and experiences was the focus if the feature. Launched in 2018, main objective of the podcast is to stimulate dialogue and break the silence and stigma that surrounds mental health.

The show is hosted by UUP MLA, Robbie Butler and local entrepreneur, Marty Chappell and produced by Sarah Trimble. Robbie Butler said,

“We recognise that the high levels of poor mental health in Northern Ireland needs to be addressed and changed. We decided that a way to tackle this was to make an easy access platform for people to learn about other peoples’ experiences, share their own experiences and signpost them to services to offer them hope.”

The team, who have been together nearly a year, had been running into issues finding a good, reliable recording space and wanted to improve the production values of their podcast. That was when Lisburn’s 98FM Station Manager, Michael Clarke got involved. Michael invited the Mind Your Bap team to use the radio station’s facilities, offering them technical support and added publicity to promote the great work “Mind Your Bap” are doing in a bid to spread their message.

Michael said, “The work that Robbie, Marty and Sarah do to create a safe platform to discuss mental health is phenomenal. When our team realised they needed a helping hand, we were delighted to get involved.

He continued, “We are extremely pleased with the recognition they received last week, but more importantly we are determined to develop the podcast as much as possible to help as many people as we can.”

The podcast is available to watch and listen to on social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. You can catch the next episode of their podcast this Thursday at 7pm.

SERC is a strong advocate for promoting positive mental health, having most recently partnered with Inspire Wellbeing to host Inspiration Points across their campuses. The new initiative will see readily available mental health information for students and staff to encourage an end to the stigma and prejudice that surrounds mental health and promotion of wellbeing for all.

Students and staff also have 24-hour access to the Inspire Wellbeing helpline and can avail of face-to-face counselling in our main campuses in Bangor, Downpatrick, Lisburn and Newtownards.

The College also has nine dedicated Mental Health First Aiders available in campuses for staff and students and recently opened its first quiet room in the Lisburn Campus for relaxation, prayer and reflection.

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