On this page, you will find a range of people from Belfast and beyond chatting to Paul O’Kane – from Belfast Men’s Health Group – about their lives, work, health and more in a series of fun, light hearted podcasts with very important messages.
Paul Smyth is the Executive Director at Politics in Action. He works with young people on issues related to the conflict and training youth workers, teachers and others to do the same. He has also worked closely with colleagues in conflict regions around the world. He believes in being creative and tries hard to adapt these to his work.
Eoin is from Dublin: is a water sport enthusiast and is living with an eating disorder. Eoin will talk about eating disorders and where you can get help.
Naomi Thompson is a world authority on smoking and vaping and has been helping smokers quit for more than 20 years. She works for Cancer Focus NI.
Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan is a professional middleweight boxer from Cork. Spike will talk about how he got into boxing and how he deals with the highs and lows of being an elite athlete
Robert West is Emeritus Professor of Health Psychology, University College London and a world authority on smoking and addiction. He has been a key player in the UK’s Stop Smoking Services and has also written a number of books on stopping smoking and addiction
Joe Donnelly is the CEO of Tackling Awareness of Mental Health Issues (TAMHI), which is a mental health charity based in Northern Ireland that works with sports clubs and groups who use sport to raise awareness of mental health and resilience. TAMHI works with sports clubs, schools, and youth groups to make mental health fun and engaging. They are based in North Belfast.
This Podcast is with Matt Shields. Matt is a retired civil engineer who has now indulged himself in his lifelong hobby of running by volunteering at Parkrun. This has maybe grown beyond his expectations and in 2012 he became Parkrun Ireland Country Manager, a position he has fulfilled to this present day. Matt will talk about Parkrun, Couch 2-5k and also some of his interests.
Cate Conway is a Radio, TV, Webinar and Podcast presenter. She works for BBCNI and U105.
Radio presenter Cate Conway is also an ambassador for AWARE, the depression charity for Northern Ireland.
Cate become involved having experienced the impact of poor mental health following the loss of her former Q Radio co-host Stephen Clements in 2020.
This is a special podcast with Cate talking about herself and how she became involved in the media world.
Podcast with Dr G
Breanna Gentile, Ph.D., completed her bachelor’s in psychology at Gonzaga University. She went on to receive two master’s degrees, one from Golden Gate University in Counseling and the second from Palo Alto University in Clinical Psychology.
Dr. Gentile founded Dr. G’s Lab, an incubator for teens that serves as a feeder to top accelerators in California. She has authored studies that have been published in peer-reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker about trauma-informed practices and design at multiple national conferences and symposiums.
Dr. Gentile has spent over 10 years working to improve outcomes for children, teens, and their caregivers working through Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress. Her work with behavioural health providers, communities, and families has allowed her to develop a keen insight into the challenges of supporting resilience through trauma-informed practices.
Podcast with Dr Breanna Gentile, Ph.D.
Podcast with Robert O’Brien
The true story of a stuttering homosexual and his car. (just one more drive)
Robert O’Brien loves cars. Being behind the wheel was a refuge from bullying, insecurity, anxiety and confusion. His father’s race car, a BMW E30 M3 Sport Evolution nicknamed the Beast, became his alter ego – powerful, admired, confident – and Robert began a quest to become a worthy owner, a “real man.”
Podcast With Dr Angela Atalla
In our Podcast Dr Angela Atalla who is a Consultant in Sleep and Respiratory Medicine talks about Sleep Apnoea and the issues around its causes and treatments that are provided. Angela is based in the Regional Respiratory Unit, Belfast City Hospital.
Podcast with Vinny Hurrell
Vinnie Hurrell is a Radio, TV Producer and Presenter with BBCNI. He talks about how he got involved in broadcasting and the different types of work he is involved with. He produces the Stephen Nolan Show and has also expanded into other areas he has interests in. He also talks about his family life and how it was living under the Covid restrictions
Podcast with Finian Murray
Finian Murray is a Senior Health Promotion and Improvement Officer for Men’s Health with the HSE and Men’s health Forum in Ireland. In the Podcast Finian will talk about men and masculinity.
Podcast with Denise Watson
Denise Watson has been involved in Television and Radio as a sports journalist and radio presenter. She worked for many years in the BBC and now on UTV. She broadcasts each morning with Maurice Jay on U105’s Breakfast Show to a very large audience of listeners!!
On the Podcast she talks about her life, family, interests and how she got involved with the media
Podcast with Dr Alan Curley
Dr. Alan Curley is a University Lecturer in Health and Wellbeing studies at UWS and a Director of UC-Mindsolutions Ltd, an Award Winning Centre for Sport and Life Improvement. He is also a Practitioner with the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), a member of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
He is currently working as a lecturer in University Of Glasgow working in mental health and addictions. He also works as a sports psychologist with clients trying to improve their sporting performance. He has written a book called ‘Playing the Game of Your Life’.
This book is a playing guide to happy successful living and for helping people who are looking to move forward in their life-journey or make a change to their life-game
Podcast with Tim McGarry, comedian, actor, broadcaster and member of the ‘Hole in the Wall Gang’
Tim McGarry is a comedian, actor, broadcaster and member of the ‘Hole in the Wall Gang’. In this podcast, Tim talks about who he is, what makes him tick, and how he got involved in TV and radio. He also talks about how he leads his life and some of his interests – which range from Cliftonville Football Club to being a Patron with the Northern Ireland Humanists.
Check it out at https://www.podbean.com/ei/pb-qbsxa-11c72d4
Podcast with Ralph McLean, local radio and TV presenter
Ralph McLean is a local TV presenter, radio DJ, arts commentator, radio producer and newspaper columnist. Ralph presents his BBC radio show ‘The Ralph McLean Show’ from Tuesday to Thursday, between 8pm and 10pm, playing music which includes a range from classical to country music. Ralph is also involved in television and writes for local newspapers. He enjoys films and tells us about a very interesting visit and car journey with the famous Hollywood actor Tommy Lee Jones. We have something for everyone on this Podcast!!
Check it out at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-5nqrs-1193362
Podcast with Thamra Ayton, Clinical Lead Physiotherapist for Pelvic Health, Belfast Trust
Thamra is the Clinical Lead Physiotherapist for Pelvic Health in Belfast Trust. She works with men and women of all ages, dealing with pelvic health problems. This can involve bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction or problems with pain in the pelvic area. She and colleagues are also involved with men who have received cancer treatment and, particularly, men who have been treated for prostate cancer. Men sometimes find it difficult to talk about their health, and areas such as pelvic issues can be very difficult for them to seek treatment for and information on. We think this podcast will educate and bring men some very useful information in relation to pelvic health issues and how to get further advice.
Check it out at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-ewa54-11753ae
Podcast with Billy Dixon, speaker and author
Billy Dixon is an internationally known speaker, author, specialist in personal projection and branding. In this interview, Billy provides some advice on maximising our potential and being the best version of ourselves.
Check it out at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-b9ye4-114b6af
Podcast with Dr Philip McGarry, Consultant Psychiatrist
In this Podcast, Philip talks about how he became a Psychiatrist, his interest as an Interpersonal Psychotherapist, and also how the COVID-19 crisis is having an impact in terms of mental health issues. He has worked for the Belfast Trust for many years, although now on a sessional basis following partial retirement.
Philip has a long interest in local politics and current affairs.
Check it out at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-t93zs-10dafb3
Podcast with Cahir Murray, Parenting NI, Dad’s Project
Cahir Murray talks about the ‘Dads Project’ which supports fathers in Northern Ireland who are separating, separated or currently involved with the courts service.
The Dads Project promotes the importance of fathers being engaged and involved in their children’s lives. This project helps them to develop more confidence in their parenting ability and builds positive connections with other dads in a similar position.
Find out more at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-iujbt-106c3ea
Podcast with Joan Davis, Director, Family Mediation Northern Ireland
Joan Davis is the Director of Family Mediation Northern Ireland (FMNI), a Registered Charity. In this podcast, she describes the work she does with FMNI, and how they provide independent and impartial family mediation. She outlines that they have been in existence for twenty one years and are celebrating their birthday.
Find out more at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-arpy3-106c333
Podcast with Keith Cullen, Splash Sure Start
Keith Cullen works with Splash Sure Start in Brownlow, Craigavon. In this podcast, he describes the work he does with them, and also the work that is offered to dads in the local community. This involves getting the fathers engaged with their kids in activities they are interested in. It covers a range of areas and includes trips and visits to venues in the local area.
Click on the link to hear more https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-w9kb9-1063304
Podcast with Stephen Barr, Start360 Lads 2 Dads
Stephen Barr from Start360 manages the Employability, Personal Development and Mental Health services within Start360. A keen sportsman, Stephen enjoys fitness training and is a long-suffering Liverpool fan.
However, he also manages the Lads 2 Dads Programme, which was developed around the needs of young men who sought help from Start360 in relation to parenting. This provides support for young fathers who are deemed to be either fathers, stepfathers or fathers-to-be, and also 1-1 mentoring/advocacy support for all participants, ensuring their needs are supported.
Stephen explains how it came about and some of the main benefits for young men at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-5x9je-1055070
Podcast with Dr Gavin Breslin, UU Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Dr Gavin Breslin is a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology in the School of Sport, Ulster University. He is a member of the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute, and a researcher with the Bamford Centre with a research focus on sport, mental health and well-being.
Gavin is a British Psychological Society Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist (of which he is former Course Director of an accredited MSc programme), a registered practitioner of the Health Care Professions Council, and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In this podcast, Gavin provides some advice on coping with the COVID pandemic and how exercise is good for our mental health.
Podcast with Frank McNally, Prostate Cancer UK, Northern Ireland
Frank McNally is the Prostate Cancer UK’s Northern Ireland Volunteer Co-ordinator. He also looks after the Volunteer Hub.
In this podcast, Frank provides information on prostate cancer, the risks and how it effects men. He suggests actions to take and what we can do to reduce our risk of prostate cancer.
Check it out at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-7ius7-ff8d4f
Podcast with Paul O’Kane, BHSCT Stop Smoking Specialist
Make this March the Month to Stop Smoking … To help us move in that direction we have an interview with one of our own members of Belfast Men’s Health Group, Paul O’Kane. Paul is actually employed as a Stop Smoking Specialist based in Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. The Trust provides a service for patients and staff, and he explains how this works. There are other ways to stop smoking and these include contacting your GP or local Pharmacy.
If you smoke, now is the time to give up!
Listen to https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-s4ygp-fc8201
Podcast with Kerry O’Flaherty, Competitive Runner
Kerry O’Flaherty is a local runner competing, primarily, in the 3000 metres steeplechase. She competed at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Kerry has also competed at two European Championships and one European Indoor Championship.
In this podcast, she talks about her life in athletics and some of the mental and physical issues she has had to deal with to enable her to compete at the top level in her sport. She also has two Whippets who run with her and also Alpacas.
Find out more at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-ntixk-fb97bf
Podcast with Malachy Cush, Musician and Broadcaster
Malachy Cush is a local musician and broadcaster who many will remember as a performer on BBC’s Fame Academy. He has had an eventful and interesting career to date.
Here he talks about his background, the area he lives in, and his plans for the future. He also mentions the mental health and well being issues facing musicians under the present difficulties presented by COVID-19.
Listen in at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-xgzq3-f97209
Podcast with Alderman Frank McCoubrey, Lord Mayor of Belfast
Alderman Frank McCoubrey talks about his role in local Belfast politics and becoming Lord Mayor in 2020. He discusses some of the work he has been doing since his appointment, which has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
He has had a number of personal health issues over the last few years, and it had a great impact on him. He encourages everyone to keep fit and take exercise. He has been involved with a number of groups in Belfast including Age Friendly and Men’s Sheds, and this has been impacted by the City’s Active Belfast Project which aims to promote healthy living.
The Lord Mayor says the people of Belfast are resilient people. He has travelled to all parts of Belfast and has seen the coming together of the people of the City. He has great hope for the future of Belfast and is looking forward to his final six months as Lord Mayor.
Hear what he has to say at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-gicsf-f7e49f
Podcast with John Cantwell, Therapist
In this podcast, John talks about some of the therapeutic and health programmes he is involved with. He also discusses some of the impacts of the recent COVID-19 crisis and its impact on men and society.
He is a husband, cyclist and an academic/therapist – very much ‘the medicine man.’ We hope you will enjoy this colourful, entertaining, and insightful podcast.
Listen to John at https://www.podbean.com/ea/pb-8pu4f-f6bce1
Podcast with Dr Mark Davies, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, BHSCT
Dr Mark Davies, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Belfast Trust, is interviewed by Paul O’Kane. He gives us some advice on how to look after our mental health, with some good tips! Mark also explains what Clinical Psychology is and talks about where he is from and his interests.
Looking at the current COVID-19 situation, Mark says we have been asked as a nation to basically switch off. That means ignoring friends and limiting social access etc. This has caused problems, with some experiencing anxiety and other issues. However, he says we are now improving as we get to better days. It is important to switch back on again in the safest way as possible.
Find out more at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-rpqwm-f46ad2
Podcast with Professor Joe O’Sullivan, Cancer Specialist
Paul O’Kane from Belfast Men’s Health Group interviews Professor Joe O’Sullivan from the The Northern Ireland Cancer Centre, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. The interview focuses on Joe’s work as a Cancer Specialist, his advice for men and also his interest in music. It features some songs from Joe’s latest CD production which is called ‘Instead of Many Shades of Blue’.
Listen in at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-7mq9k-f2667d