A brave teenager from West Heath has made a rap song about his experiences with self harm and suicidal thoughts, in the hope that it inspires others to seek help for a positive outcome.

18 year old Keshan Mcintosh has struggled with mental health issues – including depression, anxiety and self harm – throughout his teenage life.

Now, after support from family, friends, college, mental health professionals and community organisations, Keshan is making positive steps for his future and wants to inspire others to do the same by honestly talking about his own experiences through his song Recovery Time.

With his positive attitude, after leaving Hunters Hill Technology College, Keshan is now studying at the University College of Birmingham and working as a kitchen porter, a job he’s worked hard on getting.

Keshan loves music and says he is inspired by Manchester grime artist Bugzy Malone.

On why he wrote Recovery Time, Keshan said: “I know mental health and mental illness is something that affects many, but barely anyone speaks up, and in music not many people touch the topic.”

In the song, Keshan details how people can get help from Samaritans – he even raps out the number to call – and by talking to those close to them and seeking professional help.

(Selected lyrics from Recovery Time)

you’re ever so loved and you’re ever so liked
I’m sorry you feel the way you do I know it ain’t nice

maybe sometime you should try calling the Samaritans help line
they give out some perfect advice
the number is 116123 and remember the call is also free

and after you’ve made all of those steps I’ve got 2 more for you
so hold your breath
talk to close people so they can provide comfort and support
and try to get yourself some physical support
from a drop in centre or some place that deals with mental health

remember not to be scared, they’re there to help

Keshan said: “I struggle myself with mental health and if my music could help people […] it would be a goal well accomplished.”

Keshan wants to go on to work hard and to make something positive of his life. His dream is to get his qualifications, a good job, his own place and learn to drive.

And his music? He’d love to make it his profession, but however his life develops, Keshan says: “I want to be still making music and to inspire people.”

Well done, Kesh, you ARE an inspiration! Keep that positive outlook, use your support when you need it and keep being amazing!

Support if YOU have suicidal feelings

If you have suicidal feelings yourself, please know that there are people who want to support you because you deserve help. Please talk to someone you know, visit your GP, call the Mind helpline on 0300 123 3393 or call the Samaritans on 116 123.

For more information and advice, visit the Samaritans website


Recovery Time : lyrics

[HOOK]

(Mental Health Life that ain’t nice
you can have a bright day but still want ya cuts through the night
don’t let everything get cold like the weather
remember that everything is eventually going to get better
remember the pain will eventually fade away
just like the scars would after you’ve self harmed
don’t feel ashamed no need to cover you’re arms
I’ve got a blade in my palm so I dash that in the bin)

so I don’t cut myself over some irrelevant ting
that don’t need the clout
I can’t let it get me down
I’m not here to talk any of that random trash
I’ve got a chain round my neck but sometimes I wish it was a rope
I don’t wanna be one of those people that turns to dope
because I couldn’t cope and I lost hope

my friend asked me to check up on her and I was a bit too late
I walked into her room and she didn’t look great
got her rushed to the hospital she was blessed that night
and she got lucky cah she almost

that day there brang tears to my eyes
how can someone feel so low
to the point where they’d wanna go

I had a cousin but didn’t know her to well
I was getting to know her but things didn’t go so well
she commited suicide and that burns through my brain
because when we where talking on Facebook stuff seemed ok

here for the friends and family if they need me
and anyone else who suffers with mental health
the life ain’t nice
the minute something is wrong
society wants to push you to the side
barely give you any help or advice
you just get claimed with a label and then ignored
they should put more into place so victims shouldn’t have to suffer
it would break my heart if I had to lose another

so many cuts so many scars
it’s hard for me to realise who you are
but underneath all that I see
a wonderful person with loads of talent and potential
stay strong you’ll make it through
you’ve gotta see the rain before you see the sun
think of happy thoughts and all the good stuff you’ve done and achieved
no one wants to lose you believe me
even if you’ve got nothing and feel like you’re at you’re lowest
keep on trying to make it work
don’t let anything bury your diamond vision in the dirt

[HOOK]

(Mental Health Life that ain’t nice
you can have a bright day but still want ya cuts through the night
don’t let everything get cold like the weather
remember that everything is eventually going to get better
remember the pain will eventually fade away
just like the scars would after you’ve self harmed
don’t feel ashamed no need to cover you’re arms
I’ve got a blade in my palm so I dash that in the bin)

it’s ok to be down but get back up
you can do anything you put you’re mind to and I wish you luck
it’s ok I relate to your pain
I’m not gunna push you away in that condition no way
I’m not gunna leave, I’m by your side
even though you want to die
look me in the eyes it’s ok to cry
first thing we’re going to do is get you some help
so you don’t have to battle this by yourself
let’s dash that blade in the bin, along with the suicidal thoughts
let’s flush them pills down the toilet, so they become a lost cause
and anything else you use to damage yourself
I don’t want you sending youreself to heavens
come on let’s start making that positive progression
it’s not too late I understand self harm is an obsession
that takes over you’re life without question
everyone deals with pain in different ways
we’ve just gotta find you a more better way
you’re ever so loved and you’re ever so liked
I’m sorry you feel the way you do I know it ain’t nice

maybe sometime you should try calling the Samaritans help line
they give out some perfect advice
the number is 116123 and remember the call is also free

and after you’ve made all of those steps I’ve got 2 more for you
so hold your breath
talk to close people so they can provide comfort and support
and try to get yourself some physical support
from a drop in centre or some place that deals with mental health

remember not to be scared, they’re there to help

that’s all I’ve got to say
remember my name
K to the E to the S to the H
don’t let mental health take over ya life
remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel
don’t let the pain bury you in the rubble
you can overcome all you’re struggles
you’re ever so strong
when stuff gets bleak find the light and hold on

[HOOK]

(Mental Health Life that ain’t nice
you can have a bright day but still want ya cuts through the night
don’t let everything get cold like the weather
remember that everything is eventually going to get better
remember the pain will eventually fade away
just like the scars would after you’ve self harmed
don’t feel ashamed no need to cover you’re arms
I’ve got a blade in my palm so I dash that in the bin)

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