Meet the creatives: Oli Regan on men’s mental health

Hello beautiful people! I’m so excited to announce my series “Meet the creatives”. For this I will be interviewing Eat with Arli who has designed and baked the most revolutionary and beautiful cakes and other baked goods, Oli Regan who is an actor and a men’s mental health activist and also Parys Gardener an editorial illustrator.
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What inspired me to start this series if the show the diverse backgrounds creatives artists come from, what inspired them into the current careers and their hopes for the future. Which is why I think it’s so important to create the spaces you want to flourish in, in order to change the world you’ve got to be the one to start it. No journey is the same and I really admire, as I creator myself, the work, time and effort that goes into the things that we love that inspire ourselves and others. Every week I will interview someone new, I’ll be starting this week off with Oli Regan 😊 Hope you guys enjoy it!
Trigger warning
– Attempted suicide
1) What is ‘Don’t Man Up’? @DontManUp is a campaign I started to raise awareness for male mental health in industries and places where the government or campaigns don’t normally target as in lower class and BAME areas to builders and sportsmen as they are the most affected and can’t afford private psychiatric care and show them ways to help yourself in the meantime.26224863_531515723885923_5217559746155905024_n
2) What can mental health services do to better accommodate men’s/masc’s mental health? Mental health services could have better early intervention tactics and clubs/groups in deprived areas to talk about their mental health in a safe environment as well as funding and less pressure on the existing mental health staff there is and also better training as I’ve come across psychiatric staff that seem like there reading from a book and that just doesn’t make it easy to engage let alone let all your problems out.28430505_2013632438907525_6767760498667552768_n
3) What stigma’s on men’s mental health do you want gone? I want the stigmas in men’s mental health to be dramatically change such as “MAN UP” , “sort yourself out” , and the fact that men can’t talk about their feelings and it’s seen as a sign of weakness, when people who suffer are warriors and have gone through a lot more to be able to say that being “normal” is easy try living with a mental illness.
4) Have your friends and family always been supportive? My friends and family have been supportive now I’ve been diagnosed but before I was just a toe rag who was constantly getting into trouble in truth though I have lost soooo many “friends” and family due to having a mental health problem and lashing out with my negative
feelings at that time.28753792_1221372451329714_8550852661644099584_n
5) What has been the most significant experience with your mental health? The most significant moment of my mental health is the last time I took an overdose and I was an hour away from dying and my auntie found me I was nearly at the light then I woke up to being in hospital after coming around the doctor was annoyed that I took up a bed and said “ if you’d have taken “x” you’d have done it properly”.30829915_2105179569714636_9197897907217367040_n
6) How can we help young boys/masc in primary school/early secondary school with their mental health? When it comes to helping young boys/men maybe show them some of their favourite stars in the media talking about it in depth like Stormzy, Adam deacon, pro green, or just try and nudge them in the right direction as men the alpha male instincts kick in and we want to deal with it our way so little hints work best.
7) Best advice you’ve ever been given? The best advice I’ve ever been given is live in the now and only look back to see what you’ve done not what you haven’t.30079048_158828064943054_7547737172485341184_n
8) How do you practice self-care? I practice self care buy listening to good happy music in a nice hot bath with some candles and Radox after doing the tapping technique.
9) What are some of the things the acting world can do to improve and accommodate for mental health? The acting world could change the applications on the forms you have to sign for auditions as they mention what you suffer with and you instantly feel like you’re gonna be pushed to the bottom of the pile.
10) What made you want to become an actor? I wanted to become an actor so I could chase away the bad and become this character that had been written for me that didn’t have mental health and was a bit cocky and loud, it’s like changing your identity for the time you’re on set and I loved that feeling so I was hungry for more and more and I’ve been chasing my passion ever since.
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11) Most memorable acting experience? The most memorable experience was being on set of EastEnders and being treated like a big time actor with my own dressing room and dropped from my dressing room to studio in a golf cart.
12) Favourite quote? My Favourite quote is, “don’t look down on anyone unless you’re helping them up!”
13) Best comment you’ve received about your work? The best comment I’ve received about my work is that I’m a natural as I’m not out of any drama or brit school.
14) Where would you like to be in a year? In a year I’d like to be directing high profile films and making sure my little man doesn’t go without and is proud of his dad.28763269_176976599592596_3474180620324700160_n
15) If you could talk to your 10 year old self what would you say? If I could talk to my 10yr old self I’d say lose weight to stop the bullying and don’t let anyone think they are better than you as big things are coming for you.
16) What motivates you to continue your work? My motivation to continue what I do is that fact I don’t want any other man to feel the way I felt and my little boy.
17) Any organisations/people that help with men’s/masc mental health you would like to let readers know about? Please check out @DontManUp on all social for help and can message at anytime anonymously with your problems and well try and sort them or work on a plan of action for self care and getting assessed.
18) Anything you’d like to add? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE speak out and don’t hold in your feelings as I don’t want you to be the 75% statistic

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I want to say another big thank you to Oli for taking some time out for this interview and thank you for providing a necessary and important perspective on men’s mental health, I really hope that it helps many people out there 🙂

CONTACT 

Instagram: olireganactor
Twitter: oliregan
See you guys in the next blog post where I will be interviewing Parys Gardener the editorial illustrator!!
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