Jon meets Dr. Phil

24 July

by Jon Aitken


This weekend our volunteer Jon Aitken went on BBC Radio Bristol’s Dr. Phil Hammond Show to chat about anxiety, the Internet and Freedom of Mind Festival.

About a month ago I published a video on my YouTube channel describing my experiences with anxiety. It detailed how it manifests itself as a physical, gnawing sensation in my stomach, where I believe it all came from plus the things I’m doing to tackle it. Here’s the video:

It felt massively liberating to talk about something I had previously been silent about and the reaction I received was incredible, from strangers across the world admitting they were going through something similar to my own family members talking about their mental health experiences for the first time ever.

Following the video’s release I was asked if I fancied going on the Dr. Phil Hammond show to talk about my journey with anxiety, which I enthusiastically agreed to.

Phil is a NHS doctor and also happens to be a comic, so the whole show was wonderfully relaxed and casual – the perfect environment to talk openly about mental health stuff. Which we did. A lot.

I forgot to take a selfie with Phil in the actual studio so here's one of me looking sweaty in the office next door.

I forgot to take a selfie with Phil in the actual studio so here’s one of me looking sweaty in the office next door.

We covered where anxiety can come from (whether that be for personal or worldly reasons), younger people and how they might not be approaching social media in the healthiest of ways, and finally advice on how to help someone who is going through anxiety.

We also spent time talking about how me coming out as gay affected my mental health and whether it has ever contributed to my anxiety (spoiler: yes.)

Follow this link to the BBC iPlayer and listen to the whole piece from about the 9:45 mark to 24:10. The perfect lunchtime listening, no?

Also, you should totally get involved with Freedom of Mind Festival. We’re always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us in every part of the festival, whether that be marketing, preparing events, going to events or just being super supportive of what we’re doing.

Talk to us on Facebook or Twitter, and while you’re at it check out our Instagram too. Speak soon?

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