A man has received over 300,000 responses of support and encouragement from all across the globe after tweeting that he was “not okay” and “at rock bottom” with his mental health struggles.
When Edmund O’Leary – a father of twin boys, proud aviation fanatic, and mental health advocate originally from Ireland but living in Epsom, Surrey – took to Twitter this past weekend to ask people to “say hello” to help lift him from the particularly rough patch he was experiencing with his mental health, he probably didn’t expect such a response as overwhelming as the one he received.
Edmund revealed that his mental health has deteriorated during lockdown after being turned down for job after job and feeling isolated whilst living alone.
The father had also hoped to see his son Patrick graduate with a first-class degree, and was also due to take his other son Conner to Dublin to begin his PhD, but both were subsequently cancelled amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
But what started as a simple and candid call for support online, with Edmund stating: “I am not ok. Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you.” turned into a poignant demonstration of the power of social media.
A story that shows what an impact can be made when we take just a second to just look out for one another.
In just a short while after posting, Edmund’s tweet began to gain immense traction – with his name ‘Edmund’ also trending on the platform on Saturday morning – and went on to see messages of support coming in from all over the world.
Hundreds of thousands of them, in fact.
From faces names and faces, to people sympathetic to his position, different companies and even an airport, Edmund truly felt the love from all four corners of the globe and it left him feeling “speechless”.
The tweet has now clocked over 300,000 likes, retweets and quote tweets, and close to 115,000 messages and counting from people taking a moment to say “hi” to Edmund, with may sharing encouraging words and even some simple pictures and video intended to lift his spirits.
Speaking to The Sunday Times on the widespread response he had received, Edmund said: “Most days are really rubbish, and yesterday was another day I was feeling really low, [so] I thought: I’m going to be honest [and] I am shocked at the degree of the response.
“It has been phenomenal, it was just crazy [and] if I were to respond to every single tweet, I’m not joking, I’d need to employ staff”.
He explained in an interview that the reaction to his “mundane” message had left him speechless.
“I have had depression for more than a decade and struggle with anxiety and PTSD, but this year has been absolutely horrendous [and] my mental health has really taken a battering” he said.
“I live on my own, I’m divorced [and] I don’t have much family support.”
Luckily, hundreds of thousands of people on social media were able to step in and provide all the support he needed at a time when he needed it most.
How brilliant is this?
If anything can help restore faith in humanity, watching the world rally around Edmund in his hour of need certainly goes a long way towards it, and with October being such a vital month in the mental health awareness calendar here in the UK, taking the time to check in with loved ones and those around us has never been more important than it is right now.
It’s true that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought with it its fair share of unexpected hurdles, but please don’t feel as though you ever need to suffer in silence.
If you or anyone you know is struggling at the moment, know that there is help available and there are many different places that you can reach out to for support right here in Greater Manchester.
It’s okay not be okay.
Manchester Mind – An organisation that has supported people in Manchester for over 30 years. Most services are now available over the phone, by email or video call. Call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.
Another wrote: “What an absolute privilege to be there for Peter Kay’s return to the big stage. He got a standing ovation for his entrance and was reduced to tears, never seen anything like it. No spoilers, just a superb night.”
Someone else said: “I was expecting a huge standing ovation for Peter Kay’s return, but that was just mega. I felt so privileged to be there tonight. I’ve waited to see him live for so long. If you recorded anything, please don’t be a d*ck sharing it and ruining it for everyone else.”
One person tweeted: “What a beautiful moment yesterday. Peter Kay in tears after such a rapturous reception.”
Featured image: TikTok, @hannah5290_
Stone Roses bassist Mani raises over £100k for The Christie and local NHS charities
Stone Roses bassist Mani and his wife Imelda have raised over £100,000 for two cancer charities close to their hearts.
After Imelda Mounfield – who is the wife of Stone Roses bassist Gary ‘Mani’ – was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer back in November 2020, the couple not only set out to raise awareness of the devastating disease, but also raise as much money as possible for local cancer charities through an online auction featuring some impressive prizes.
The auction was launched at a fundraising event held at Kimpton Clocktower Ballroom on Friday 18 November, and saw the couples’ friends from the world of music, sport, and entertainment donate an incredible array of exclusive items.
Some auction highlights included Noel Gallagher’s framed and signed set of six platinum discs for the album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, which went for an impressive £8,000, while guitars donated by Damon Albarn, Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Foo Fighters, Peter Hook, and The Who were also all up for sale.
The highest bid went to John Squire’s Jackson Pollock-inspired painted and signed Hofner guitar 3/3 for a whopping £16,800.
Liam Gallagher’s 2022 NME award for ‘Music Moment of the Year’ sold for £4,100, and David Beckham’s signed boots he wore for the last match of his career on 18 May 2013 were sold for £6,800.
All together, over £80,000 was raised from the auction, as well as £24,000 raised on the night of the fundraising event itself – which means that just over £100,000 has now been donated to The Christie Charity andStockport NHS Charity.
Imelda explained that funds were donated to these two charities as they “supported me through my journey.
“Cancer affects not just the person who has it, but everyone around them,” she explained, “I hope that by investing in some more research, we can help alleviate some of the devastation caused to families by cancer.”
Both charities say they are “really touched” and “hugely grateful” for the contributions.
“We’re really touched that Imelda’s experiences as a patient have spurred her and Mani into action for our charity,” said Louise Stimson – Head of Fundraising at The Christie Charity.
While Karen James OBE – Chief Executive for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust – added: “We’re hugely grateful to Imelda and Mani’s efforts in organising the fundraising event and auction [and] we’re proud of the care Imelda and many others with cancer have received at Stepping Hill Hospital.
“This fundraiser for our charity is a really touching display of her thanks, which will help us go on to support more patients in the future.”
Sadly, Imelda’s cancer has spread to her liver and a small nodule in her lung, so she underwent emergency life-saving bowel surgery as it perforated, and after months of treatments, she had the right side of her liver removed.
Imelda is now currently waiting for the next stage of treatment.