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‘Runnin’: Fred Fredas’ exploration of the impact support networks have upon mental health

Fred Fredas is an artist based in South East London, his Runnin’ is the fourth track of his latest EP In the Search For Love. The song, and short film which accompanies, explores the effect our support networks have upon male mental health, particularly family and religion. Runnin’ touches on the effects of toxic masculinity and the importance of being there for one another. The short film is written and directed by Fred, and co-directed by Aaron Imuere and Post Carlton.

I spoke to Fred about his intentions behind the song and short film.

Please introduce yourself, and how you got into music?

My name is Fred Fredas, and I am a Rapper/Songwriter from South East London. At the age of 13 I started to engineer for other artists in a youth studio. The main reason why I started engineering in the studio was so that I could learn how to use the equipment. At the time I was eager to learn more about being an artist even though my confidence level was low I always knew this was something I wanted to pursue, therefore I promised myself that I would be the best at it and never give up. This is how my journey into music started.

What inspired you to explore themes of mental health for Runnin?

“I believe we are at a time where mental health has become a trending topic. I am not an expert on mental health however I believe one aspect that has been missing from the conversation is the direct impact that our support network including our family and the church for example can have on our mental health.

We all know that having a support network plays an important part in helping us to get through the difficult times, but when your support network is not secure who do you turn to, from the conversations that I have had with people and my own personal life I know that this is something that a lot of people can relate to.”

What’s one thing you would like your audience to take from the short film?

I want to highlight the importance of seeking help. Particularly within young black men, there’s a lot of daily pressures we go through that we don’t talk about, sometimes we are not comfortable to express ourselves therefore we end up keeping things bottled up. Through this short film I want people to know there is nothing embarrassing about seeking help and it is better to do so before things get worse.

How would you encourage young men to seek out professional help for issues of mental health? i.e. where would you encourage them to go?

“There are organisations that are specifically targeted towards supporting men. The ones that I know of are:

See Also

  • CALM: Campaign Against Living Miserably (www.thecalmzone.net)
  • Mentality (www.mentalitylive.co.uk)  

If you would like to learn more about preventative measures for mental health I would recommend Insideout UK

If you are thinking of suicide or know someone who is here are the organisations you can contact:

  • Papyrus: 0800 068 4141
  • Samaritans: 116 123

How can the stigmas of mental health be overcome through the arts/communication?

“There are many mediums in which individuals take in information and one of the most effective ways is through creativity. There are many things that can be done through the arts to educate individuals on mental health, through film, photography, theatre and much more. We need to have more courage to get the message out there through these mediums.”

Check out Runnin below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEbYluGqg10
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