Mental health podcast No Really, I’m Fine shortlisted for a Mind Media Award

No Really, I’m Fine podcast hosts Michael Pearson, Gemma Sherlock and Kate Lally

The UK’s largest regional publisher has been recognised by a leading mental health charity for its groundbreaking podcast.

No Really, I’m Fine, is a Reach PLC podcast, which tells the stories and experiences of people affected by mental illnesses.

The podcast, hosted by Gemma Sherlock (Live News Reporter at Cheshire Live), Kate Lally (Local Democracy Reporter at the Liverpool Echo) and Michael Pearson (New Formats Video and Audio Producer, Reach Regionals), and supported by Reach’s podcast producer Matt Aldus, has triumphed since its launch in May.

It has been recognised by Apple Podcasts as one of the top 10 health podcasts in the UK and has achieved more than 70,000 listens so far.

Now, No Really, I’m Fine has been nominated for a Mind Media Award in a shortlist announced during Monday September 16.

The show is shortlisted in the podcast category for the awards which is run by mental health charity, Mind.

Here, Gemma, one of the founders of the podcast, reflects on its success:

Author Matt Haigh with podcast host Gemma Sherlock during their recording

I never wanted to tell the world of my struggles and I never thought the world would want to listen.

But they did.

They not only listened, but they understood, related and supported.

After opening up about my anxiety, depression and suicide attempts I decided I wanted to do more to help people.

In comes No Really, I’m Fine — a unique name for a podcast thanks to Kate Lally.

The process of hard work began for the team but we were blessed with so much support that we never struggled to find a guest — everyone across Reach wanted to help.

We had guests from all walks of life, each with their own personal story to tell.

As our first series was coming to an end I came across the Mind Media Awards and decided to enter No Really, I’m Fine.

When I found out the podcast was shortlisted, I couldn’t quite believe it.

I am over the moon that our hard work has been recognised.

It’s very overwhelming to comprehend as my anxiety and mind like to tell me I am a failure, so this shortlisting contradicts that, A LOT.

It started out as a small meeting between the team and grew into a podcast that is helping so many and receiving lots of support.

It is amazing to be recognised by Mind, the work they do is second to none.

I can’t wait to continue the journey of No Really, I’m Fine.

One of the episodes saw the podcast team visit a Mind Cafe
Another episode was centred around the workd of Andy’s Man Club in Leeds

Fellow podcast host Kate Lally said: “I’m absolutely blown away by the response the pod has had.

“Mental health is something I have been passionate about for many years, so for us to be recognised by Mind is just incredible.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has listened, shared and contributed to No Really, I’m Fine.

“This really has been a communal effort; opening up and being honest is how we tear down walls and make changes.”

The team were joined on one episode by Kristian Walsh from Reach’s central football team, and previously of the Liverpool Echo, who opened up on his mental health issues and how he came out the other side of them

Senior Editor at Reach Regionals, Ed Walker, who oversees podcasting for the group, said: “The success of No Really, I’m Fine is testament to the passion, bravery and commitment of Kate and Gemma in pitching the idea and being willing to open up about their own experiences.

“As a group we have made progress in the support we provide to our teams around mental health, although there is of course always more that can be done.

“When the podcast was first pitched and we asked for help across the Reach group to make it happen then it’s one of the biggest responses I’ve ever seen to a group-wide effort, with staff from all departments wanting to help in whatever way they could.

“The stories the No Really, I’m Fine team have been able to tell, both from those within our own group who have contributed, as well as external contributors, have clearly resonated with tens of thousands of listeners.

“And to have been featured so prominently in the podcast charts, by Apple Podcasts, and now to be shortlisted by Mind shows what a great job everyone involved has done.

“I know work has begun in planning the second series of the podcast and I look forward to seeing how it develops.”

The team have been invited to attend the Mind Media Awards ceremony which takes place on Wednesday November 13 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

You can listen to No Really, I’m Fine podcast on Acast or find it on any podcast provider. You can also follow the podcast on Twitter.

Five episodes to have a listen to:

Victim of male rape waives anonymity to share his struggle after sex attack

My PTSD struggle two years after the Manchester Arena terrorist attack

Inside the support network helping men who are battling their mental health demons

Best-selling author Matt Haig talks about his own mental health

How ‘miss curve’ beauty queen overcame an autism, OCD and depression diagnosis to smash body image stereotypes

Read more on podcasting in regional media

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Why a UK newsroom launched a cold case podcast

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Laudable project launches with new roles and confirms locations where it will operate

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