Run from the edge

Graduated from Goldsmith’s University, writer-editor Kevin Braddock has worked for various magazines from Esquire to The Guardian. With experience of working abroad in Berlin, Kevin has a wide variety of knowledge which has enabled him to produce his own creative publication about recovering from depression, Torchlight, published in 2017 alongside a pack of Practice Cards. 

The Mental Health Organisation statistics present that in 2014, around 19.7 percent of 16 year olds and over show symptoms of anxiety or depression. These figures demonstrate a 1.3 percent increase from those of 2013. This is not a totally new phenomenon; mental health problems have been part of a growing epidemic for the last 25 years. In the UK, 3 out of 4 deaths of under 35 year old men are caused by suicide. One of those men, Braddock says that at breaking point, he had ‘every intent’ to kill himself.  

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Although there is growing awareness of mental health issues and men being more vocal about their feelings, Braddock notices that there is still not enough resources available for men. ‘Men find it much harder to talk about feelings than women do’. Working at men’s magazines that represented what he calls a false image of men, modelling in Rolex watches in expensive cars, he came up with an opposing publication; Torchlight.  

If you ever meet Kevin Braddock you’ll notice the honesty that he exudes. He’s real and his feelings are genuine. Braddock is lucky to have been able to find a platform that has helped him on his journey to recovery and he will admit to this too. He is able talks from experience, not only regarding his career but also his life as a homeless man.  

Homelessness is a public health issue. It is not the cause of Kevin Braddock’s depression, however, it is another factor that has played a part in getting him to that point in his life. Homeless individuals are out on the streets whatever the weather and highly likely to not have suitable clothing or bedding. Being homeless also means that they can struggle finding access to healthcare and instead of regular checks with early diagnosis, they usually rely on A&E services at crisis point. One in every 200 people in the UK are homeless according to Shelter.

Braddock explains that it all started on the train when a woman handed him a leaflet.  They got talking, soon realising that they shared similarities which he thought were the kind of similarities that were shared universally. This inspired him to come up with his own publication and motivated him emotionally. With previous thoughts of suicide and depression making him feel like quitting his job and buying a one way ticket to Tegel, Braddock’s life had turned around. He recognises that doing simple activities like making your bed every morning can help you on a road to recovery from depression. This is why he came up with the idea of Practice Cards which are available on the Torchlight System website.

Kevin Braddock points out that nowadays you can do anything you like in media, ‘careers aren’t linear these days, they’re elliptical’. His plans for the future involve continuing Torchlight and publishing a second issue in which he is running a crowd funding project to help Issue 2. He is currently taking submissions to outsource people who want to tell their stories. He also has a YouTube channel which can be found on the website for Torchlight System that he uses not only to help himself but also others effected by depression. Asking for help is the motto that he lives by.

Written by Tamay Nehir

Tamay Nehir