Professor Green and me

Abigail Tulino

I have always been a big fan. I’ve seen him on stage and in nightclubs. He even travels with me in the car as I listen to “I Need You Tonight” over and over and over again. And then he turns up at my workplace. My workplace! I was so excited that I had booked my place within seconds. Let’s face it – I would have been there regardless of what he was talking about.

Professor Green (real name Stephen Manderson) was at Allen & Overy to talk about mental health. He lost his father to suicide when he was 23, and suffers from depression himself. Sitting in the third row, smiling to catch his attention, I waited for him to begin. I was confident he could get a crowd going but what I didn’t expect was such a raw, open and honest discussion of his life experiences and mental health.

Some of his topics really resonated with a few my own life experiences, especially grief. He mentioned the common saying ‘time is a healer’ but noted that, in reality, it’s just that you are getting further away from the time when it happened. I loved that. It’s exactly the way I would describe it.

Stephen spoke about his own coping mechanisms for anxiety, one of which was how he is a committed and loving owner to his two dogs. He explained that even when he feels he can’t care for himself and doesn’t want to face the world, he still gets up for his dogs and that they are the driving force for getting him up and out on particularly bad days. As a loving owner to a dog myself, this resonated with me. Everyone has their own coping strategies but for me and the Professor, it’s our dogs.

The whole experience was amazing. I went in as a fan and came out an even bigger one. My admiration for the Prof has increased ten-fold. He is truly inspiring for using his music platform and celebrity status to raise awareness of mental health. You know what? He’s “Got It All”.