Meet the woman from Blackpool using social media to raise awareness of mental health

  • Article by ITV Granada Reports journalist Claire Hannah

Social media, some love it, some hate it, but there's no doubt how powerful and influential it's become, from Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to Tiktok.

Marcus Rashford MBE's campaign against child food poverty on social media forced a Government U-turn, so we really can't ignore it.

And one woman from the North West is using social media for no other reason than to raise awareness of men's mental health and the support which is available.

'Lads, Lads, Lads', a powerful poem written by Lauren-Nicole Mayes from Blackpool.

Originally a short piece, she was contacted by Scouse actor Jay Johnson who asked her to expand it.

It's now gone viral with thousands of views on social media, and some other surprising results.

Lads, Lads, Lads is performed by Scouse actor Jay Johnson Credit: Lauren-Nicole Mayes

'Lads, Lads, Lads' is a four and a half minute film, featuring Jay Johnson reading a poem, which starts off talking about 'lads, lads, lads' being lads, on nights out, being hungover.

But, as the film progresses, it goes deeper into talking about 'lads, lads, lads' being told to 'man up' and not say they're fed up.

It ends with the statistic that 75% of suicides in the UK are reported as being male, flashing up on screen.

Since it was uploaded to YouTube on 17 January it's had more than 65,000 views on youtube and more than 140,000 views on Instagram.

It's also seen several people seek support from charities to come back from crisis, and prompted enough donations to fund more than a dozen counselling sessions.

Lauren, who wrote the poem, says she's overwhelmed at the reaction, which has seen many people get in touch to say it resonated with them.

Lauren has been speaking to our reporter Claire Hannah:

Jay Johnson said he was glad to be involved as it was something which really resonated with him, and anything to break down the stigma around men's mental health has to be a good thing.

Jay said “There’s still a massive stigma around mental health, it’s an illness, but because you can’t see it, there’s still a certain attitude towards people who might be suffering - ‘you’ll be alright’, ‘get yourself out of the house’… If someone has a disease we can see, we are more supportive and caring.”