Inspiring Wellbeing: Mental Health advocate James Lumumba’s new podcast
Mental health advocate James Lumumba

Inspiring Wellbeing: Mental Health advocate James Lumumba’s new podcast

Hailing from Tallaght is locally known mental health advocate James Lumumba with his latest release of ‘Don’t be Afraid to Talk – The Podcast’.

Locals may recognise James from different community volunteer events, as an avid fundraiser, or running races in unconventional ways such as blindfolded or backwards. Now, the activist has gained attention to his new podcast to inspire well-being among the listeners.

The podcast’s first episode, ‘Mother Wounds and Self Care’, was published on August 29 and now, episodes are released weekly on Sunday mornings.

Earlier this November, James celebrated his tenth episode of the series called ‘Ask the Therapist’.

Each week, James has a conversation with different members of the community to hear their stories surrounding the range of topics under mental health.

In the works of creating future content, James told The Echo about his evolving journey and inspiration for creating a podcast to share with audiences.

He expanded on the stigma that surrounds mental health while touching on his own thoughts and personal experience.

With experience in creating and managing, is this your first podcast?

Yes, I started this podcast in August of this year so it is just getting going. I have been advocating for mental health over the last few years and have done some other audio video interviews on different platforms on the subject but not to this extent.

What was the inspiration that drew you to create the podcast?

It was years of working alongside charities to help raise awareness and funds through my event company Peacock.

I quickly became aware that mental health was a huge factor and affected countless numbers of individuals that were either struggling with a disease/illness or it directly affected the family, friends or staff working with organisations.

It was an offshoot of the main charity I was helping. It just wasn’t talked about. I want people to be okay with not being okay and open up about their experiences and connect to a wide audience.

I know that people will relate and feel less alone and will be more likely to seek help.

With different appearances every week, how would you describe the overall theme of the podcast?

‘Don’t be Afraid to Talk’ covers a wide variety of topics based around mental health. I suppose the theme would be whatever the person being interviewed wants to discuss from personal experience or their field of expertise through their profession.

You work with people from many different walks of life through your volunteer work, who would you recommend the podcast to?

Anyone at all. We are all in some way connected and have all gone through or suffered with emotional pain at some point in our lives.

It doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, old, young, male, female – we all have a common connection and that’s emotion.

What do you want audiences to get out of your podcasts?

Awareness and other people’s take on how they feel and deal with certain challenges in life. What’s easy for one person may be near impossible for another and I’d like for everyone to understand that while we are all unique in our own way we are only flesh and blood.

Mental health is a serious and heavy topic for people to handle. What challenges do you face when creating the shows?

Finding people who are willing to come forward and share their experiences, strength and hope to give the listeners proof that they are not alone.

To take the power out of the illness, we need to take the stigma away and keep talking about it. Most addictions are underlined with mental health issues.

The addiction is a coping mechanism to mask the real problem.

In this month you have reached ten episodes. What has been your favourite episode to work on?

All of my podcasts are individual stories and everyone’s story is different.

Each episode brings with it a new learning. So, I enjoy them all. From speaking with a person who is suffering first-hand, to a doctor, or a licenced therapist who can give scientific insight and help people understand the nature of the cause.

With this being your first podcast, how far do you want to go with it?

I don’t have a set number of podcasts I would like to do. But I do hope they gain traction and spread awareness and if so, I will keep speaking to people who are willing to share their story or analyse on the subject.

With being a mental health advocate, what advice do you have for people who want to get their voices heard in the world?

As long as you are passionate about what you do and are willing to learn, be inspired and inspire in return, people will take interest in what you have to say.

‘Don’t be Afraid to Talk – The Podcast’ is available on all podcast platforms. See to listen online.

By London Brazal

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