Nick Little is the Co-founder of The 12th Man campaign, which supports men to talk more openly about mental health. With the news that 12th Man Radio Show has been renewed by Norwich community radio station, Future Radio, he hopes to inspire more listeners to learn that talking is a strength
The 12th Man campaign was created by Nick Little and Oz Osborne in 2014, to get men talking about mental health on a day-to-day basis. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 and Norfolk has one of the highest suicide rates in the UK. The struggles many of us faced during the pandemic brought mental health into even sharper focus, prompting Future Radio and the 12th Man campaign to come together to produce a show dedicated to getting men talking about their mental health.
The 12th Man is a bit like a football crowd – when a team is playing well and winning, the crowd is happy and creates a positive atmosphere. However, the team actually needs the 12th Man more when it’s struggling for form, and the 12th Man Radio Show helps people to support their friends, family and colleagues with their mental health.
The 12th Man campaign, which started in East Anglia and now signposts people to organisations that can help across the UK, provides Mental Health First Aid training to trades and interest groups, giving men the knowledge and confidence to talk about mental health and to use these skills to be the 12th Man at work and in their social lives.
Since the 12th Man Radio Show first aired on Future Radio, it has broadcast almost 30 episodes and featured a range of guests talking about their own personal circumstances, what they do to improve their mental health and how they’ve contributed to the 12th Man’s aims of developing a community that is skilled and confident enough to talk. The show’s success has meant that men feel more empowered to talk openly about the pressures and challenges of life, knowing that they don’t have to face their issues alone.
Nick Little, Co-founder of the 12th Man Campaign and host of the 12th Man Radio Show, says: ‘We are delighted to be able to continue our association with Future Radio. The show will help us with our aim of increasing awareness of mental health among men in Norwich and Norfolk, and we hope to inspire listeners to learn that talking is a strength.’
12th Man work with a wide range of sectors including barber and tattoo Shops, pubs, cycling and football clubs, menswear stores, gyms, scooter clubs, taxi firms…anywhere where men may work, go as a customer, or spend their leisure time.
Nick adds: ‘The 12th Man Radio Show allows us to highlight the businesses that we work with and draw attention to different mental health issues and allow men to talk about their lives and mental health experiences openly without stigma. We get to play music too, something men can be especially nerdy about, so that really helps us position our campaign within this interest area as well.’
Christopher Remer, Business Development Manager at Future Radio, says: ‘The 12th Man Radio Show is a great asset to Future Radio. Since the launch of the show, we have been very proud to be involved with the 12th Man campaign and to play a part in lowering the stigma surrounding men’s mental health. Our partnership with Nick and the campaign has gone a long way toward helping us fulfil Future Radio’s charitable objectives. Providing a resource to benefit those struggling with mental health issues is particularly important now, with increasing reports of the mental health crisis taking its toll on so many.’
The 12th Man Radio Show is broadcast on the first Thursday of every month. The next scheduled date is July 7, from 6-7pm. Shows are made available on demand at The 12th Man Radio Show – Future Radio. Future Radio is Norwich’s Community Radio station, it engages the community, builds skills and provides opportunities through great music, conversation and people. It is part of Future Projects, a charity which works with children and adults in the most disadvantaged communities across Norfolk, providing education, training and support to help people develop their independence and enable lasting change. The 12th Man is managed by Tim Guy and Nick Little from The Outsiders CIC. Tim began working with the campaign just before Oz’s illness and death in 2018, and he and Nick have managed the campaign ever since.