Journalist Whitman Uses Podcast to Change Mental Health Stigma
Last name: Tim mccarthy
In the news: McCarthy runs his podcast, 20TIMinutes, to share his struggles and break the stigma surrounding mental health.
Now you know: McCarthy’s last milestone with the podcast was 6,000 downloads, and it continues to increase.
His history: Lots of laughs, a bit of dark humor, and honest talk about mental health are what listeners can expect from the 20TIMinutes podcast, hosted by Quincy’s Tim McCarthy.
After dealing with mental health issues in high school and in his adult life, McCarthy, who now lives in Whitman with his wife, attempted suicide on May 5, 2019.
It was after this point that McCarthy decided to seek treatment and was diagnosed with General Anxiety and ADHD as well as Manic Depression / Bipolar II Disorder. He then launched a podcast to share his struggles and break down the stigma surrounding mental health.
“In that year or two, I’ve always wanted to do a podcast,” McCarthy said. “I never knew what I wanted to do it about because I feel like any other straight white man with a beard and [who is] bald has a podcast. So I think I opened up to people more and more because a friend of mine said to me, “You shouldn’t be embarrassed by this, you should wear it.” ”
McCarthy took the advice at face value and got a colon tattoo on his chest with two semicolons – a happy or sad face depending on how you look at it – to represent the bipolar diagnosis.
McCarthy is now producing 20-minute episodes for his podcast, as well as longer episodes featuring guests sharing their mental health stories. He limits his Tuesday downloads to 20 minutes because of his ADHD, as well as others who don’t like listening to long podcast episodes.
The episodes are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music. They are also recorded for his Youtube channel, he said.
None of the episodes are scripted, McCarthy said, because he wants listeners to feel like they’re having a conversation.
McCarthy said he hopes other people can relate to him and understand that there are so many different people with different experiences when it comes to mental health. He said “the stigma has to be broken” and spoke about it, but it can be embarrassing.
“I’m just trying to make people laugh to get in there, because I feel like laughter is the best medicine for me,” McCarthy said. “Even in those dark times that’s kind of what kept me going, it was like my dark humor, although that would probably scare some people.”
McCarthy said with a laugh that he toned down the dark humor in his episodes because his mother listened to them.
After recording each episode, McCarthy said his wife asked him how it went, and McCarthy jokingly replied, “the worst yet.”
Earlier this year, McCarthy pre-ordered t-shirts and donated $ 300 to the Plymouth County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
“So they were very grateful for it,” McCarthy said. “They said it would go a long way with the lessons and stuff.”
McCarthy hosts his podcast on the side. His full-time job is a 911 night dispatcher for the state, which he did for about eight years.
Going forward, McCarthy said he plans to invest in better podcasting equipment. In the long term, he would like to host a live performance with a fundraising aspect.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call National Lifeline for suicide prevention: 800-273-8255.
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