Lisa Gernon is a host on Walk in My Shoes Radio, Ireland’s only all-digital pop-up radio station. The station has been broadcasting live all this week 10th–14th Oct from St Patrick’s University Hospital to mark World Mental Health Awareness Week. Mental health advocates, celebrity ambassadors and well-known presenters from stations across the country have been presenting shows all week long.
Lisa says: “The overall aim of Walk in My Shoes Radio is to encourage listeners to become involved in the conversation around mental health. Positive mental health and wellbeing should be a priority in all of our lives. Walk in My Shoes Radio has an important message, taking action early by seeking support and professional advice to deal with mental health issues is vital.”
1. I believe you are co-hosting with the Nuala Carey, Pat O’Mahony and Brent Pope… must make for some lively discussions. How is the dynamic of the show working out between you all?
The mix of presenters all week has been fantastic. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nuala Carey @nualacarey25 who is as lovely in person as she is on the telly, Pat O’Mahony @patomahony1 who has over 27 years under his belt broadcasting here and in the UK, he just made us laugh from start to finish with his own unique take on the show & Brent Pope @realbrentpope who speaks so openly & eloquently about his own battle with mental health which is so important for our listeners as the idea of Walk In My Shoes Radio is to encourage people to start the conversation. What I love about live radio is that it is so reactive and the people that have come on to share their stories have just been wonderful and so honest with us.
2. Describe your own background as regards getting into broadcasting?
I’d been living in San Francisco and decided I wanted to come home in 2003 but I wanted to have something to come back to. A dear friend of mine Jane Norton was working in radio at the time and the way she described it made me want to be part of it so I enrolled myself in the Media Techniques course in Pearse College. From there I got my start in 98FM with John O’Donovan and Tom Ó Brannagáin on Late Night Talk and I’ve not looked back since. I’ve worked with Live 95FM, East Coast FM, Radio Kerry, Spin Southwest & currently I’m presenting Nova Nights on Radio Nova.
3. Talk us through a couple of the events, interviewees or topics you’ve been covering on the radio this week?
On our first day on air we attempted to set a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Mindfulness Lesson (in multiple venues). Thousands of students in secondary Schools & 5th and 6th classes in primary across the country joined in to help make this happen. This was broadcast on Ireland AM on TV3 from various locations across the country. We’re waiting on confirmation of this so fingers crossed.
We’ve had some fantastic guest this week across all the show’s. We had a live music performance from ‘Scoops’ a Dublin based band who are destined for great things. See Change Ambassador Neil Kelders talked about his own journey with his mental health and he spoke about his gratitude journal and the way he described how it helped him encourage me to start one of my own (I’m on day two). Stephanie Lynch is an addiction councillor who has incorporated Adventure Therapy into her recovery programmes and listening to the benefits she’s seen in her clients from taking them out of their comfort zone, having to rely on each other and trust again actually brought me to tears. We had a go at Laughter Yoga with Mary form www.laughteryogaireland.org and I have to say Brent has a really hearty laugh and hopes to become a certified Laughologist. And that is just a small sample of the quality of guest we’ve had all week. I’d like to say a massive thank to you to each and every one of them who gave up their time to be part of WIMSFM. OH and I got to meet Dustin The Turkey who I’ve always had a soft spot for.
This Friday, Amanda McArdle campaign officer with Walk in my Shoes will be chatting to us about the important work they do all year round. We’ll have two live musical performances one from wonderful Singer Songwriter Fiach Moriarty & the brilliant Laura Elizabeth Hughes. Author Carina McEvoy is passionate about mental health & will be discussing her debut novel ‘To Have, Not Hold’ and RTE Sports pundit/psychotherapist Richie Sadlier will be dropping by plus lots more. You’ll have to tune into find out. All the frequencies are on www.walkinmyshoes.ie
4. What’s the public feedback been like?
The feedback has been great, people are really loving the mix of chat & music and we are talking to real people who are sharing their own personal stories which is so brave. We’ve a fantastic team who’ve been working on getting our message out there across all social media platforms. We’ve even had a few calls and we’ve never given out a number but people just want to share how the station is making them feel.
5. Name 3 tunes you turn to yourself to cheer you up when you’re feeling blue?
LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS SONG – Chris Malinchak – So Good To Me
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina & The Wave –
Tainted Love – Soft Cell (the 12-inch version)
St Patrick’s Support & Information Service is a telephone and email service staffed by experienced mental health nurses 9-5 Monday to Friday with an answering and call-back facility outside hours.
Tel: 01 249 3333 or you can email your query to email@example.com
The Walk in My Shoes Helpline for 18-25 year olds is a confidential telephone and email service staffed by experienced mental health professionals 9 – 5 Monday to Friday with an answering and call-back facility outside of these hours.