Shed Talks: Mental Health Podcast for Grown Ups

by Jeremy Thomas in Wincanton, Somerset, United Kingdom

Total raised £2,098

£10,000 target 6 days left
20% 20 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 26th May 2024 at 11:59pm

We want to ensure the future of Shed Talks - a mental health podcast primarily for people aged 45+, and to release an episode a month.

by Jeremy Thomas in Wincanton, Somerset, United Kingdom

Who is Jeremy Thomas?

Hello! I am Jeremy Thomas of Jeremy Thomas Talks and the host of Shed Talks, an authentic, entertaining and informative mental health podcast which I launched in early 2020, during the pandemic and lockdowns.

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I spent over 20 years in the music business starting at Decca Records working with artists such as Thin Lizzy, The Moody Blues and Judas Priest.  After running a successful record label for four years  in my early twenties and while attempting to start a new business, I suffered from undiagnosed manic depression, swinging on the one hand from trying to take my own life to launching a new record label with two armed bodyguards in New York.  This illness lasted for three years and led to bankruptcy, homelessness and unemployment.  Through perseverance, good medical help and support from friends and family, eventually I recovered.  My objective now is to continue to help normalise the subject of mental health, spread the word about prevention being better than cure and to bring the best out of the guests that appear on Shed Talks.

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 In March 1998 I went to live on the Greek island of Patmos where I wrote my first novel Taking Leave, subsequently a winner of the BBC Radio 5 Book of the Month award. In 2006, in collaboration with Dr Tony Hughes, I helped to conceive and co-produce the Emmy Award winning BBC TV documentary 'Stephen Fry:The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive'.  I also co-wrote You Don’t Have to be Famous to have Manic Depression/An A-Z Guide to Good Mental Health published by Penguin and Michael Joseph, as well as my second novel, The Santa Monica Suicide Club, published in 2015.

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 Since 2012 I have delivered talks focussing on my own experience but, more importantly, demonstrating practical mental health coping mechanisms to schools and companies. I am happy to give back because of my own earlier, substantial problems with bipolar and alcoholism. I have now spoken to over 50,000 people, who appreciate the talks, I believe because of their authenticity and the honest humour in their delivery.


What is Shed Talks?

Shed Talks is an authentic, entertaining and informative mental health podcast aimed primarily for people aged 45+.

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 Since its inception in the lockdown of early 2020, eighteen episodes of Shed Talks have been recorded and it has attracted an audience of just under 10,000 listeners overall. Interviewees have ranged from Sir Ian Rankin, the bestselling UK crime novelist; Roma Hooper who founded Prison Radio Service; Mike Fisher, founder of the successful British Anger Management; National Hunt jockey Nathan Horrocks; veteran songwriter, and hit-maker Nicky Chinn; Radio 4/Dead Ringers star Jan Ravens as well as Robbie Williams’ manager, Tim Clarke.

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 Each Shed Talk consists of three parts; firstly, an interview (lasting 40-50 minutes) with an interesting guest talking about their own journey through a mental health condition or the journey of someone close to them, and how they recovered.  The next section is a “Lifejackets” session, where I ask what keeps the guest afloat as in films, books, pets, music, hobbies and philosophy.

For the final portion of the episode, veteran clinical psychologist Karen Cowan, a main contributor to The A-Z Guide to Mental Health, discusses her professional observations with me.

Why is Shed Talks important?

Shed Talks is aimed primarily at adults aged 45+ (though there is no reason why younger people shouldn’t enjoy Shed Talks as well!). Rightly, an awful lot of mental health discussion has been tilted towards teenagers and younger adults, but we know that people of a greater age are just as susceptible.

Overall, the pandemic has had a delayed scattergun effect. Despite growing cursory knowledge of mental health problems and solutions, last year, people aged 45 to 64 comprised the largest percentage for the suicide rate in the UK, at 39.2%. People aged 50+ do not have the same sources of support as younger generations, making them more vulnerable to loneliness (Age UK).  The shortage of physical socialising spaces for a range of ages, such as the closures of 400 UK pubs in the first half of 2023 alone, are only exacerbating this isolation.  There is a real need to open up discussions on mental health with the age group of people aged 45+, and this podcast is part of that discussion.

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Shed Talks meets a need for an authentic, informative, funny and non-judgmental mental health podcast for people aged 45+ that covers important subjects such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, addiction, bereavement, personality disorder, trauma, eating disorders, self-harm, schizophrenia, self-esteem, anger and much more.  Podcast streaming for health content is up 123% (Spotify); clearly, people enjoy discovering new things about mental health through this medium.

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The fundraising aim for Shed Talks:

 To date, I have financed all the episodes of Shed Talks myself but am now seeking £30,000 of outside funding. The aim is to ensure the future of the next 24 episodes of Shed Talks, released once a month.

We also aim to enhance the quality of Shed Talks and reach a much wider audience. This will include: 

  • Renovating the website, ensuring it is practical and helpful. It will cross-reference to mental health themes from the Shed Talks episodes, and it will signpost to episode-relevant organisations. 
  •  Employing SEO and social media professionals to spread the word about Shed Talks, mainly to our target demographic of 45+ with an interest in mental health.
  • Raising quality of production, regarding the episodes themselves as well as any promotional material.

 Shed Talks is not designed to plug peoples’ books, TV series, films, cat food, herbal cream or similar.  It is designed to host interesting people, some well-known, some not, but all who are prepared to share their mental health stories, and how they recovered.

Listen to Shed Talks here.

Shed Talks Testimonials:

'I am hooked on these talks. Each one a gem, with different wisdom and experience to impart. Thank you. Brilliant!' - Emily T.B.

'Honest, open hearted, amusing and unique... Always a great listen and positively good for your health, mental and otherwise.' Alan & Martha C.

'Shed talks challenges preconceptions on everyone's mental health: principally "I am normal" & "90% people don't have issues"... Listen and be entertained, it may be an hour long & require your attention but if that is bad for you, then you don't deserve a vote in next October's General Election.' - Nigel O.C

 'I have actually shared a particular episode (or episodes) with some selected friends who I know suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder and/or severe depression and/or anxiety and/or addiction.  Each and every one of them has thanked me and said how much they have benefitted from listening...there is always, always hope.' - Alison S.

'I especially love to listen to Shed Talks when I am in the bath...the entertaining Jeremy Thomas and his deep dive into the lives of authentic characters with real stories to tell is such a treat.' - Rita S.

'How great to hear this – keep shining the light Jeremy! and thank you Karen, resilience is the word! - Michael H.

'Jeremy is an amazing interviewer... he has so many interesting guests who have had amazing lives and he makes everyone feel so relaxed.' Sue F.

'Shed Talks is my favourite podcast. Fascinating people sharing their life stories. It's empathetic, fun, and sizzling with information.' - Claire H.

'Jeremy has such a knack of asking the right questions... unabashedly told, totally open and honest. A podcast that really stays with you.' - Claire M. 

'Each episode stays with me... a sentence, a few words that I can relate to... the insight that it is ok to not always be on top. And it is ok to talk about it. I love the Life Jackets!' - Bo E.


Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£250 or more

1 of 100 claimed

Reward for £250 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £250, you'll receive: ALL of the rewards from £150 donation PLUS a digital film of 4 X 30 minutes workshops covering: Depression; Stress, Anxiety and Trauma; Resilience; Self-Esteem... We hope you find these useful!

£20 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Reward for £20 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £20, you'll receive: A copy of Jeremy's Dashboard of Mental Health Dials (either digital or physical). We hope you enjoy this!

£50 or more

2 of 100 claimed

Reward for £50 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £50, you'll receive: A copy of Jeremy's Dashboard of Mental Health Dials (digital/physical) AND Shed Talks post-it notes and tote bag...We hope you enjoy these!

£100 or more

2 of 100 claimed

Reward for £100 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £100, you'll receive: ALL of the rewards from the £50 donation PLUS a Shed Talks mug, a digital copy of 'The A-Z Guide to Good Mental Health: You Don't Have to Be Famous to Have Manic Depression' AND digital transcripts of 4 x Shed Talks episodes...We hope you enjoy these!

£150 or more

0 of 100 claimed

Reward for £150 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £150, you'll receive: ALL of the rewards from the £100 donation, PLUS another 4 x digital transcripts of Shed Talks episodes (8 transcripts total)...We hope you enjoy these!

£500 or more

1 of 25 claimed

Reward for £500 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £500, you'll receive: ALL of the rewards from £250 donation, PLUS: Jeremy will do a one hour personal online workshop with the donor (OR you can choose a digital film of Jeremy Thomas' keynote talk ‘How To Stay Sane In An Insane World’) PLUS digital copies of all 16 Shed Talks episode transcripts... We hope you enjoy these!

£1,000 or more

0 of 15 claimed

Reward for £1000 Donation

As a thank-you from Shed Talks, when you donate £1000, you'll receive: An in-person talk by Jeremy Thomas to a company or institution on mental health issues, the digital film of 4 X 30 minutes workshops covering aspects of mental health, a digital copy of 'The A-Z Guide to Good Mental Health: You Don't Have to Be Famous to Have Manic Depression', 16 x digital Shed Talks episode transcripts, a Shed Talks mug, tote bag and post-its, and dashboard.

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