Pirate FM News

VIDEO: Cornish charity backs mental health minute

mental health

Published by Emma Carton at 7:19am 15th May 2018. (Updated at 1:18pm 15th May 2018)

Tuesday 15th May 2018 was the day Pirate FM asked you to spare a minute for mental health.

We teamed with hundreds of radio stations across the country to play a special message to raise awarness.

It is to raise awareness of the often silent struggle faced by people like Ben Cowburn from Cornwall.

The 18-year-old was in an adult mental health unit in the Duchy when he took his own life.

Since his death in 2010, Ben's family launched the Invictus Trust to support other youngsters.

Sister Amber says campaigns like this and Mental Health Awareness Week are vital to help people cope.

She said: "If you start to feel like you're struggling or you're feeling quite low, you absolutely shouldn't suffer on your own.

"The first step is always letting your GP know and getting into the NHS system.

"Waiting lists and services, sadly, aren't always as quick as you'd like them to be but there's always loads of help online and loads of people who want to listen".

Amber added: "Ben was living in London, he was a fashion student and he had so much going for him.

"I think, in that time, he was dealing with various pressures and things going on and we just didn't know about any of it; things deteriorated very quickly".

Ben's twin sister Sophia tells the story behind the Invictus Trust and how it came about...


Pirate FM played Mental Health Minute, featuring Princes William and Harry and stars like Lady Gaga at 10.59am on Tuesday.

Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, along with stars from music, sport, stage and screen, joined together for the message broadcast simultaneously by hundreds of UK radio stations.

The message is voiced by Lady Gaga, Dame Judi Dench, David Harewood and Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, as well as special guests The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, who are all lending their voice to raise awareness of mental health.

In an historic first and reaching one of radio's biggest ever collective audiences, the minute of simultaneous programming united stations all over the UK from national networks, including Pirate FM.


Spearheaded by Radiocentre and Radio Academy and executed by content agency Somethin' Else, the Mental Health Awareness minute, which falls in Mental Health Awareness Week, is supported by the Royal Foundation's Heads Together which was launched to change the national conversation on mental health and tackle the stigma that prevents people from getting the help they need.

The broadcast, which is designed to encourage more people to talk openly about their mental health, includes The Duke of Cambridge saying: "Just starting a conversation on mental health can make all the difference, when you talk about something you have less reason to fear it".

Prince Harry adds: "If you do have the courage to speak about it, you really can make things better".

Siobhan Kenny, Chief Executive at Radiocentre, said: "Radio is coming together in a UK first today to shine a light on the important issue of mental health. Radio is unique in being both fantastically intimate and yet part of a shared experience. As well as providing company and fun, radio can be an important lifeline for listeners. It is therefore an obvious choice for us all to come together to talk about the things that matter most in our lives".

Somethin' Else Managing Director, Steve Ackerman, said: "Somethin' Else is delighted to be working with Radiocentre on the creative and production of this exciting moment in radio history. We are pleased that the power of audio is being used to such fantastic effect and confident that what we've produced will get people talking".

Roger Cutsforth, Chief Executive at The Radio Academy, said: "We have a responsibility to recognise the unique place we in radio occupy in people's lives. This poignant moment of reflection, a first in UK radio, is a wonderful opportunity to help us improve how we support each othe remotionally".

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