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Nurse lecturer’s men’s mental health project aims to challenge music industry attitudes

Mental health academic, who is also a hip-hop music promoter, developed the Man Down programme
Nurse lecturer and founder of the Man Down mental health programme Gemma Jennison

Mental health academic, who is also a hip-hop music promoter, developed the Man Down programme

A nurse lecturer has set up a mental health programme for men in the creative industries in response to loved ones suicide attempts.

Birmingham City University lecturer in mental health nursing, Gemma Jennison has developed the Man Down programme.

In addition to having her academic career, she is a hip-hop events promoter and drew inspiration from seeing the effects of poor mental health at music events.

I felt driven to create a safe space to facilitate a better understanding of mental health risks and promote the right and need to talk openly about them among men, she said.

Mental health academic, who is also a hip-hop music promoter, developed the Man Down programme


Gemma Jennison, nursing academic and hip-hop promoter

A nurse lecturer has set up a mental health programme for men in the creative industries in response to loved ones’ suicide attempts.

Birmingham City University lecturer in mental health nursing, Gemma Jennison has developed the Man Down programme.

In addition to having her academic career, she is a hip-hop events promoter and drew inspiration from seeing the effects of poor mental health at music events.

‘I felt driven to create a safe space to facilitate a better understanding of mental health risks and promote the right – and need – to talk openly about them among men,’ she said.

Attitudes to mental health in the creative industries

The Man Down programme aims to support anyone who identifies as male in the creative industries to discuss their mental well-being.

Ms Jennison will be contacting organisations such as record companies, talent agents and live music promoters to encourage them to promote positive attitudes to mental health.

She will be presenting teaching resources, including films, to help break down misconceptions of men's mental health issues.

Hip-hop artists give their backing to the Man Down programme

The programme currently has the support of 20 hip-hop artists including British singer-songwriter, Rag’N’Bone Man.

He said it is important people can talk honestly about mental health.

He said: ‘I am proud to be part of this programme. Gemma and the team will make a meaningful change,’ he said.  

Read more about the Man Down programme.

Where to go if you need support

If you are a nurse or nursing student with a mental health concern and have RCN membership, you can contact the RCN's free and confidential counselling service on 0345 772 6100

Samaritans can be contacted any time, free from any phone, on 116 123. Email jo@samaritans.org or visit the website for details of your local branch where you can talk to a trained volunteer face to face

Universities UK has teamed up with Papyrus, a UK charity dedicated to the prevention of suicide in young people, to produce guidance to help university leaders prevent student suicides

The NHS’s Help for suicidal thoughts website has a list of helpful contact numbers and advice on coping strategies for those experiencing suicidal thoughts  



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