Five mental health focussed podcasts, specially recorded for Mental Health Awareness Week, will be released daily between 13-17 May to help further the conversation about mental health, mental illness and support available

Five podcasts recorded in front of a live audience at Podfest for Mental Health, organised by Happiful Magazine and Counselling Directory, will be released daily next week to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

The mental health podcast recording festival at King's Place London was supported by mental health advocates from many mental wellbeing podcasts and campaigns. Guests included You, Me & The Big C’s Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, Rizzle Kicks’ Jordan Stephens, vlogger and mental health advocate Grace Victory, actor and producer April Kelley and Andy Man's Club founder Luke Ambler.

We now have an opportunity to connect people from very different places and backgrounds who can find solace in shared experiences,

Next week's programme of mental health dedicated podcasts will be bookended with special editions of I am.I have, Happiful's own podcast, with Podfest special programmes from The Naked Professors, What I Wish I Had Known and The Book of Man, released mid-week.

In addition to the podcasts, ticket sales for Podfest For Mental Health raised £2,000 for the Mental Health Foundation. Mark Rowland, CEO of MHF joined I am. I have - The Panel, and his thoughts on mental health and awareness can be heard from Friday 17 May.

Speaking about the event Mark said: "Podfest for Mental Health is a sign of the growing demand to discuss and understand our mental health, which for too long has been pushed into the shadows in public discourse.

"We now have an opportunity to connect people from very different places and backgrounds who can find solace in shared experiences, and collectively we can learn the vitally important science and art of protecting and sustaining our mental health."


Monday 13 May

I am. I have, Counselling Directory and Happiful’s podcast will be the first podcast released on the week, with special guests Lauren Mahon and Deborah James, co-hosts of BBC Radio 5 Live’s ‘You, Me and the Big C’.

Both Lauren and Deborah spoke about their experiences of living with cancer, how they try to take care of their mental health and manage health anxiety while living busy professional and personal lives. They discuss the physical and mental impact cancer has had on their bodies, living their new normals, the importance of their friendship and shared understanding of cancer and grief.

Tuesday 14 May

The Naked Professors special episode will be released on Tuesday 14 May. Life Coach Ben Bidwell and presenter Matt Johnson were joined by writer, performer and mental health advocate Jordan Stephens. The three spoke about being unafraid to embrace who we really are, what their own mental health point of crisis taught them and the importance of broadening the conversation around mental health to represent every person, of any gender.

Wednesday 15 May

Lauren Marks-Clee, Jess Jones and Jo Love, co-hosts of What I Wish I’d Known will release a special edition of their podcast, with the theme of maternal mental health, joined by Counselling Directory member Beverley Hills. The group share their own experiences of motherhood, discussing support networks, how to practice self-care when there is very little time for yourself, and setting boundaries in the early days of parenthood.

Thursday 16 May

The Book of Man special edition podcast will be released on Thursday 16 May. Editor and host Martin Robinson is joined by the founder of Andy’s Man Club Luke Ambler, actor Phoebe Torrance and TV presenter and explorer Aldo Kane.

Each spoke about their own mental health and how they now take action to help others, with Luke speaking about ‘Andy Man’s Club’ the support network he set up after his friend died by suicide. All panellists discussed the impact negative self talk can have and the tools they use to improve their own mental health on a daily basis.

Friday 17 May

The week’s programme of mental health podcasts end with Happiful’s I am. I have - The Panel. Mental health advocate Grace Victory, ‘Mentally Yours’ co-host and journalist Yvette Caster, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation Mark Rowland, and actor and producer April Kelley took to the stage to share their own experiences, including living with bipolar, representations of varying mental health conditions, suicide and growth.

This panel podcast closes the week by discussing the changes they want to see in the world and how we can collectively make it easier for others to open up about mental health and get the help they need.

Lucy Donoughue, Podfest Host and Head of Content and Communications for Happiful said: "We were so pleased that so many people, from across different mental health and wellbeing podcasts, joined together to produce this special programme of episodes for Mental Health Awareness Week. We hope many people listen, share them and benefit from them.

It’s so important for anyone who is struggling to know they are not alone, help is available and there is a community of people online, ready to support you, if that’s what you need

"Sometimes, living with or understanding mental health challenges can feel incredibly difficult, isolating and complex. Hearing from others who have trodden a similar path to you can be helpful in taking some steps towards finding support.

It’s so important for anyone who is struggling to know they are not alone, help is available and there is a community of people online, ready to support you, if that’s what you need.

"We hope that Podfest will be the first of many events from Happiful and Counselling Directory seeking to highlight different experiences, voices, supportive communities and the ways in which to seek and receive help."

Subscribe to I am. I have and listen to past episodes with Rose McGowan, Megan Crabbe, Munroe Bergdorf and Aaron Harvey today. Please rate, review and share if you like what you hear, using #iamihave

To find a professional counsellor or therapist, visit Counseling Directory or use the search box below.

If you are in need of immediate mental health support, you can call The Samaritans 24-hours a day on 116 123 or email