UKRD Yorkshire stations join together for tribute

Stray FM, Minster FM and Yorkshire Coast Radio will join together for a special day of programmes to tell the story of Mick Atkinson who took his own life last year.

In what marks four months since the death of Mick, the day coincides with national mental health awareness day It’s Time to Talk; a day which encourages people to be more open about their own mental health problems.

37-year-old Mick was a serving police officer who worked as a dog handler across North Yorkshire. A father, partner, brother and friend to many, Mick was often described as a larger than life character. His death in October 2018 shocked his family and his police colleagues across the force.

On Thursday 7th February, the three UKRD Group stations will break normal format and join together to broadcast a special tribute to Mick. This will start at 8.10am when Mick’s partner Kellie Taylor will share her story in a bid to try and encourage those who are suffering to talk.

Throughout the day, Mick will be remembered with a series of interviews from close friends and former colleagues. The topic of mental health will be addressed on both the radio and online with a focus on encouraging people to speak about their own mental health.

Will Smith, Deputy Content Director of Stray FM told RadioToday: “1 in 4 people in the UK suffer with a mental health problem every year, so talking about our mental health has never been more important. The UKRD group are open to ideas and want to have a positive impact in the communities they serve. We work in a medium where we can reach a large audience both on the radio and online.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues at Stray FM, Minster FM and Yorkshire Coast Radio as well as North Yorkshire Police to raise awareness across North Yorkshire of such an important topic.”

Superintendent Mike Walker of North Yorkshire Police added: “The prevalence of mental health within the policing family and the need to speak out has never been so important. As a police service we are improving our mental health awareness and have already put measures in place to encourage people to talk about their own mental health. The psychological wellbeing of our workforce has to be a priority but we need the help of everyone if we are really going to look after those who need us most. Therefore, the support of the radio stations in North Yorkshire is greatly appreciated as we must keep the ‘speak out’ message at the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

Bridget Meynell, Managing Director of Minster FM said: “Life throws many challenges at us and we all have good days and bad days. How we handle those challenges can vary depending upon our emotional health. That’s why it’s so important to be able to talk problems through with others so that we can avoid them seeming insurmountable and spiralling out of control. We sometimes spend more waking hours per week with our colleagues than anyone else and it’s important to create an open environment in the workplace where we can take time to talk about mental health without fear of judgement”.