The Mental Illness Happy Hour Podcast

 The Mental Illness Happy Hour, is a weekly hosted  audio podcast hosted by Paul Gilmartin, which consists of interviews with artists, friends and doctors. The series was created in March, 2011 and is still continuing to produce new content. Each episode is ranges from 34 minutes – 2 hours 30 minutes. On average, each podcast lasts one hour. As of November 6, 2019 there are 463 episodes. All episodes are streamed online and/or on other applications such as; iTunes and Spotify for free and consist of true stories and live  conversations.

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Image of Comedian and Host Paul Gilmartin: (https://mentalpod.com)

This podcast focuses heavily on mental illness conditions, past traumas, sexual disfunctions, compulsive or negative thinking and every day mental health challenges/experiences. As the host says, on the episode LGBTQ Battles and Milesotnes, ’It’s not a doctor’s office, it’s more like a waiting room that doesn’t suck,’ It’s not meant for mental health treatment and diagnosis, the podcast series is purely as a resource to explore the culture of mental illness and experiences.

The podcast has 1.92K Youtube subscribers since the channel was created in 2013. The episodes are accessible on various platforms such as Spotify, the official Mental Pod website, iTunes which currently holds the podcast at a 4.8/5 rating by 4.9K people, Stitcher, and Soundcloud which has 1,213 subscribers. The show was also nominated for the Webby Honoree Award, for best hosting of a podcast interview or conversation.

All of the episodes are catered to an audience of mental health sufferers, allies and those who want to get informed about mental illnesses and experiences.  The podcast creates a perversely safe space which Gilmartin and his guests talk about their fears, addictions and traumatic childhoods. In an article by The Atlantic, it states Gilmartin’s reasoning as to where the podcasts were adapted from and why in a niche. “Mental illness is not a cut and dry thing,” Gilmartin said. “It lives in the gray area. And that area, to me, has always been the stuff that fucks with you the most, but it fascinates me. So in many ways this podcast is just an extension of my curiosity of the gray areas in not only my life but other people’s lives.”

Richard Berry in his article, Podcasting: Considering the evolution of the medium and its association with the word ‘radio,’ argues, ‘the role of the podcast listener which starts with a series of choices over what the listener wants to hear.. Placing podcasting as a ‘pull’ medium, one where the listener is more active in the process of selection and scheduling.’ (12) In this quote, Berry points out the importance of the role of the listener in making all the determining choices of what and when a podcast is consumed.  In this example of podcasting, the why?, how? and what? aspects of The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcasting series is what creator and host, Paul Gilmartin sets for the audience.

Audience: When, Where and How VS. Paul Gilmartin: Why, Who and What

Sources:

• Berry, Richard. “Podcasting: Considering the Evolution of the Medium and Its Association with the Word ‘Radio.’” Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast & Audio Media, vol. 14, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. _____., doi:10.1386/rjao.14.1.7_1.

• https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/04/mentally-ill-on-the-mic-how-paul-gilmartin-brings-us-all-together/255170/ 

 

 

 

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