A mechanic is to host a new mental health radio chat show to raise awareness.
Andrew Feeney will take to the airwaves with a new weekend chat show to discuss mental health issues.
The 37-year-old previously suffered a breakdown which then lead to him taking an overdose. He then woke up in a hospital bed feeling like he didn’t want to go on.
It was only the companionship of his pet Staffordshire Bull Terrier Kai that persuaded Andrew to keep fighting and slowly but surely he came out on top.
Now Andrew from Drumchapel, Glasgow, wants to bring mental health issues to the fore with his new weekend slot on Forth Valley Radio, the community-based station which broadcasts online.
Andrew’s new show goes live on Saturday and continues every Saturday from 6pm until 8pm.
Andrew’s breakdown came following the end of a relationship and his mental health spiralled from there. He also lost seven close family members, lost his home and stopped seeing his children.
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He said that he ended up using drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating as he battled with his mental health and eventually admitted himself for treatment. However, in hospital he got into an altercation with another patient who had stolen some of his items. He was discharged from hospital and says he was left to fend for himself.
It was at that point that he says he reached his lowest ebb.
At that stage he decided he was going to take up walking as a means of boosting his mental state and raising awareness of men’s mental health issues.
Andrew and Kai embarked on a walk from Glasgow to Land’s End in November 2019 and through his Facebook page, he was given support along the way as he shared his story and was connected with people who had faced similar hardships.
His walk was cut short when a reoccurrence of a heart problem reappeared when he reached Wigan. He called an end to his planned walk, with the hope of completing the journey last year. However, the outbreak of coronavirus put an end to that ambition.
Instead, the power of social media has been the tool to spread the message of mental health issues, offering support to people across the country.
Now he hopes his new radio show will give him the platform to further discuss important issues surround mental health.
He said: “I won’t lie, it’s not been easy, far from it, and it’s still to this day something I have to live with.
“I always loved to walk as a boy and moving from the East End of Glasgow to the North West I found the hills and mountains so I started to walk again and day by day I would walk further and spend more time thinking and it helped massively for me.
“It then came to me one night I should go for a walk, just a wee stroll from Glasgow to Land’s End with my dog Kai. Since then I’ve walked and talked mental health and how it’s affected me and in turn others have come to share their stories and also looking to Andrew’s Journey for help and sometimes that just a chat.
“Since the walk south on November 11, 2019, I have built a community on Facebook of people who have suffered or have loved ones who suffer with mental illness and it’s become a family.
“We have built a great support network that continues to grow nationwide and we want that to keep growing until it’s the world over because mental health has no borders,”
Andrew hopes that, as the nation eventually comes out of lockdown, the page can help people readjust to living a normal life after the pandemic. He intends to start walking groups and coffee mornings with more ideas to follow.
In order to allow this to happen, Andrew has been trying to raise £1000 to start the walking groups and coffee mornings with a fundraiser. The fundraiser can be found here.
Andrew’s first radio show will broadcast on Forth Valley Radio from 6pm on Saturday. You can listen to the show by going to the Forth Valley Radio Facebook page.