Thursday 13 May 2021

You've Got Soul: Our fundraiser radio show

Natalie shares why she is hosting a radio show to raise money for Student Minds.

- Natalie Mellor

One of the most important tools to raise awareness about mental health is something we do every day but is often taken for granted: talking. Through talking, we can empower individuals to seek the help they need, help ourselves feel like we are less alone, and break the stigma surrounding mental health.

This is what my friend Sophia and I had in mind when we decided to start our own show on Leeds Student Radio in October 2020. COVID-19 has undeniably had a significant impact on students’ mental health, and Sophia and I felt that the pandemic has meant that it is more important than ever to continue the conversation on mental health at our university. This is when we came up with the concept for Mind & Soul: a radio show dedicated to talking about mental health, self-care, and current issues, alongside playing our favourite soul music. Our show is all about encouraging conversations in university about mental health, and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health in higher education.

In ten episodes across two semesters, we have interviewed eleven guests, discussing topics ranging from OCD, to reproductive health, to LGBTQ+ mental health. A key component of the show is bringing on guests to talk about their experiences with wellbeing and activism in order to initiate important conversations. Through talking with our guests, Sophia and I had our eyes opened to so many things we didn’t know before, and throughout the year, the show has enabled us to learn so much and draw attention to important issues.

From talking with so many incredible guests, we knew that starting conversations is the first step towards change. However, Sophia and I wanted to take our show a step further. This is why we decided to raise money for Student Minds. Through inspiring conversations and raising money for Student Minds, we want to encourage institutional change and make a substantial impact to the state of student mental health.

To raise money for Student Minds, we decided to put on a special event on Leeds Student Radio: You’ve Got Soul. The name is a lyric from one of our favourite songs (It’s Alright by Jon Batiste and Celeste) which we chose because to us it embodies the message that it gets better.

You’ve Got Soul is particularly special to Sophia and I because we have got some really incredible guests involved in the show. Our first guest is Lydia Violeta, a Business Management student at the University of Leeds, who also runs a very successful Youtube channel with over 219,000 subscribers, making content such as study videos and vlogs. With Lydia, we discuss the reality of university life, tips for exam season, and why talking about student mental health is so important.

Our second guest is Laura Norman-Phipps, a journalism graduate from the University of Bournemouth, and also a mental health and lifestyle blogger. She posts a range of content from fashion to mental health and she has over 10,000 followers on Instagram. With Laura, we discuss self-care tips, the importance of talking about mental health, and reproductive health.

The final guest is Ben West, mental health activist and campaigner. Ben is a trailblazer in raising awareness for mental health and encouraging institutional change, through lobbying the government and universities to implement changes. With Ben, we discuss his activism and campaigning, the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, and the importance of both talking about mental health and institutional change.

Sophia and I are so honoured to talk to these incredible people about issues close to our hearts, and we hope that these conversations inspire our listeners to donate to our fundraiser and initiate conversations in their lives.

The show is airing on Saturday 15th May at 2pm on Leeds Student Radio. If you would like to donate, you can do here:

Visit Student Space for further support with your mental health or emotional wellbeing. 

Hi, I’m Natalie. I am a final year student at the University of Leeds studying BA English and History. I am also a Sub-editor of the Student Minds Blog, and through this role I hope to help students and recent graduates share their stories and encourage the conversation on student mental health. When I’m not studying or editing blogs, I host a radio show on Leeds Student Radio called Mind & Soul: a show about mental health, self-care, and current issues, alongside playing soul music.

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