Earlier today, my wife asked me what the highlight of my year has been with regard to running Men Tell Health. I didn't need long to think about it. It was easy. I told her the highlights were seeing the difference in the guys who come along to our SpeakEasy groups.
Witnessing the difference in their mood, their manner and their general outlook on life is incredible. Comparing it from the moment when they first came through the door, perhaps a little unsure of what the SpeakEasy experience would mean for them, but seeing how much they have improved, sometimes just gradually, over the months since then has been just amazing to see. Long may it continue.
It's hard to believe that our SpeakEasy's have only been running, as I write this, for just 5 months. It feels like only 5 minutes but 5 years, all at the same time. Only last week we welcomed our 100th bloke through the door. If you've just thought, what the hell is a 'SpeakEasy', then (a) where have you been? and (b) it might be worth taking a look here before reading on!
Our hope is to have a SpeakEasy in every town in the UK, then the world, in the future and we're really trying to make that happen. Maybe not as quick as you'd like and definitely not as quick as we'd like, but we'll get there. In the meantime, we've got some incredible news for you. We're taking the SpeakEasy to the airwaves!
Starting Wednesday 22nd November 2017 from 1pm - 3pm, and then every fourth Wednesday after that, The SpeakEasy Radio Show will be coming to you on CVFM 104.5. If you're not local to Teesside, then that's no problem. You can download their App (on iOS or Android) or listen via their website.
Our hope is a simple one. We want to bring the SpeakEasy experience to the radio so we can reach even more people. Whilst we can't replicate a group of blokes sitting around drinking tea and coffee helping each other through life's problems, we believe we can replicate the positive atmosphere it generates and we know we can bring our very own unique brand of mental health support to the airwaves. This isn't going to be a men-only experience, oh no! We're going wide and we're going international and everyone's welcome.
In the two hours we have, we want to highlight the positive aspects of mental ill-health. We also want to promote the incredible work that's going on in our communities every day and to give a voice to those who may not have one. If they do, then we want to help make it louder so even more people can hear it.
We absolutely understand that mental illness isn't always great, it can be tough and we don't want to sugar-coat it or pretend like everything's amazing, but we do want to bring people together, even virtually. Our SpeakEasy's are, at their core, about people helping people and we believe we can do that on an even bigger scale with this show. To make that a reality, we want you to be a big part of the experience.
We really hope you can tune in, join in and, if you feel so inclined, sing-along with the show when it starts on Wedneday 22nd November. We want our incredible community (that's you by the way) to be part of The SpeakEasy Radio Show. We've got a Facebook page which we'll use to engage with you, not to mention our Twitter account. If there's a song you want us to play, just let us know and we'll do our best! Want a shout out? Just put it on there and we'll see it (#SpeakEasyFM), no matter where you are in the world. We're going to have a topic for each show, and we want your opinions on it to help others. It's going to be amazing!
A huge thank you to Idrees Rashid for giving us this opportunity and we hope we can make the show a success to complement the other fantastic shows on the network. You'll be able to subscribe to the show on Mixcloud if you can't listen live! It won't be as easy to see the improvement the show (hopefully) gives people who listen to the SpeakEasy Radio Show, but then that's why they invented the selfie....surely! Not 'arf pop pickers! Let's rock!
If you've got any ideas for the first song we play on our first show or the first topic of the day, please let us know in the comments below.
Incidentally, whilst we have you, we'd love your input on our SpeakEasy groups; this applies whether you've been to one or not, whether you're a man or not! Just go here and fill in our anonymous survey.