Integrity Media Unveils Mamaloaf: A Captivating Children’s Publication for Exploring Emotions and Life’s Mysteries
20 June 2023
April was an exciting time at Integrity Media with the launch of our first inhouse children’s publication, Mamaloaf under our Authentic Beginning imprint.
Dedicated to younger readers, Bapsy embodies a curious mentality questioning how life around her came to be. Guided by Mamaloaf’s awareness and patience Bapsy, as well as children, can explore a range of emotions including, impatience and anxiety, giving young readers an ample opportunity to voice their own concerns and consider different possible stages of their own life.
Supported by Mamaloaf’s epithet of self-worth, pride and a sense of belonging, children are taught the acceptability if expressing such emotions and talking freely about them with adults.
Illustrated with a good balance of text to image, Mamaloaf is the perfect length to retain a child’s attention and prompt activities, like baking and emotional bonding, with adults around them.
Not All Flowers Face the Sun, the Podcast
14 November 2022
In our new podcast, Integrity Media's co-founder, Grant Budge discusses another of our compelling publications, Not All Flowers Face the Sun, with the author, Mark Zanzibar Boyd, and Heidi, a friend of Mark's who's already been lucky enough to read the book.
Mark discusses why his autobiographical tale - of man's journey following his breakdown after the loss of his wife and children in a car crash - is presented in fictional format. A story he describes as "an adventure with a big love interest" is a tear jerking exploration of both abuse and longing. the repartee between author and reader is fantastic and we urge you to listem here.
Opening the Dialogue for Mental Health in Financial Services
9 November 2022
Talking about mental health in the workplace is one of our top priorities, and the all-too-often fast-paced environments the workplace is a serious drain to any worker's wellbeing.
Finance is a sector continuously affected by increased pressure, competition, instability and overall poor consideration of employee wellbeing. As a result, more than 33% of reported absences are related to exhaustion and other mental health reasons (as opposed to 24% in retail and 22% in utilities (IQEQ)).
Between 2019 and 2021, Deloitte has recorded an increase in financial loss due to mental health-related absences and presenteeism (where one’s performances are affected by their current state of being) from £45bn to £56bn (Deloitte). In one of their latest surveys, 60% of the employees in banking services admitted having worse mental health issues due to COVID-19. Today, finance remains one of the top five industries with the poorest conditions to support mental health in the workplace. This situation is not a definitive outcome, and a lot can be done to benefit both the industry and employee wellbeing.
This is why our founder, Grant Budge, will have the honour to be speaking on our behalf at the Diversity, Gender and Mental Health in Finance Services conference in London on 23rd November. To learn more how we can change wellbeing in finance and banking services and what we can do to implement those changes. We will keep you updated as we go along and share our key takeaways with you, so stay tuned.
Editorial Assistant promoted to Assistant Editor as company grows
10 October 2022
Alicia Violet was the first to join our team last year, first as an intern, then as Editorial Assistant in October, all the while completing her Publishing MA at @UCL. A year later, a dissertation recently submitted, she is now promoted to the position of full-time Assistant Editor to work across editorial, research, marketing, design, production and sales as we continue to grow as a healthy, inclusive and altruist company.
Six books after the very first title she has worked on, which happens to be our first publication, Mental as Anything by Grant Budge, we are delighted to see what her path with us will bring.
Happy first anniversary to the recent graduate!
#AssistantEditor #publishing #promotion #postgraduate
Suede Guitar “Raffall” Results Are In!
1 September 2022
On 31st August, a lucky Canadian fan of Suede received excellent news! He is the winner of a rare Gibson Les Paul guitar signed by the members of the rock band. The guitar was up for competition in a raffle organised to raise funds to launch our first catalogue since November 2021. Over 260 tickets were sold for the guitar, which the band so kindly signed for us back in October 2021 in Leeds.
Shane Mulligan, our winner, shared some stunning photos of the guitar after its long shipment to Canada. Look how spectacular it looks in his possession, so rock’n’roll! What a happy sight!
We hope you have a transcendental experience with your prize, Shane!
Publication day: Not All Flowers Face the Sun
30 June 2022
Flowers turn to the Sun for growth and guidance, and so do people, metaphorically. In this beautiful tale of love, loss, rediscovery and of the self, the Sun’s warm influence takes many aspects in each character’s lives to teach them lessons about themselves and the world as seen from their broken perspectives.
Not All Flowers Face the Sun is inspired by Mark’s own experiences and heavy heart, which adds to the characters’ profound embodiment. What the heart feels is more vivid in nature, and what it lives truer to the eye and the mind. Hence why this autobiographical novel touched the heart of all those close to Mark who had the opportunity to read it before he signed a publishing deal with us.
Buy your copy now in our shop to (re)kindle your connection with the sun.
England to Africa, between childhood dreams and unmet expectations
30 May 2022
Our new book, The Scorpion House, takes you away from everyday life in northern England to the allegedly sunnier skies of 1940 Africa, a land that little Fay thought belonged to fairy tales.
Fay’s childhood has been filled with contradictions, confusion and constant dread. The dread of leaving her beloved home in Liverpool to follow the whims of her parents move to Africa, leaving behind weeping grandparents, of finding her place in this new territory where everyone has darker skin, and speaks a language she is not familiar with, of infuriating her unstable and abusive mother whether she breathes or talks; all the while wishing for a normal, happy childhood cradled by enchanting adventures and shiny possessions.
Roaming through the sandy, bumpy roads between countries in the hope of becoming rich, Fay is forced to follow her family in remote areas of her world, tending to her siblings at an age she should been taken care of and be in school. Yet her parents never considered her happiness until an event triggers her urge to depart, to salvage her future.
Relaunch of The Scorpion House, the Podcast
19 May 2022
In our latest podcast, Assistant Editor, Millie Godfrey, talks to her Grandmother, the author of The Scorpion House, Fay Granville-Hitchman, and Fay's daughter, Penelope Godfrey, in which Fay reveals what compelled her to write about her extraordinary and often traumatic childhood whilst being raised in South Africa the 1940's and 50's.
Written through the eyes of a child, the story focuses on her parent's move to Rhodhesia upon the fateful flick of a silver shilling. Three generations of family candidly discuss the motivations behind Fay's autobiographical account of her upbringing in this fabulous podcast. A memoir that took shape when she and her husband purchased a computer, and Fay decided to make the expense worthwhile by jotting down a few stories...
The repartee is wonderful between them as they delve into the exploration of a bizarre and dysfunctional of family, and how Fay overcame her upbringing though sheer resilience and fortitude. Listen here!
Mental As Anything, Laid Bare
20 April 2022
We have just published our third Podcast, in which editorial assistants, Millie Godfrey and Alicia Violet, talk to Integrity Media's co-founder and author, Grant Budge about his latest book, Mental As Anything: the collective.
In this frank and often humorous podcast, Grant discusses the experiences and events that led him to write this recently launched autobiographical novel, which focuses on the mental health battles he dealt with and overcame over a two-year period.
Also, in the podcast, Grant discloses that the memoir is written in an alternative format to the traditional autobiographical style, where the dialogue takes place in a pub between the main character and his closes friends. Intricately crafted, with an unexpected ending, Mental As Anything is a 'must read', and this podcast a 'must listen'.
Welcome to our Shiny New Website
12 April 2022
After months of hard work and dedication, we’re delighted to officially announce the relaunch of our website. We have improved the whole experience, making the site faster, fresher, and more user-friendly. Our navigation menu has been expanded, providing a better insight into who we are, what we do, and Integrity Media’s overriding mission. We also have a new “Our Authors” section, where you’ll be able to familiarise yourself with the personalities behind the writers of the books that we publish, and the inspiration behind their works.
If audio is your thing, there’s a brand-new podcast section that provides an open discussion about the root causes of poor mental health. And we have our dedicated blog, where the members of our team will openly share their views on individual topics that not only resonate with mental health issues in the wider population but relate to their own life experiences too.
We’ve also added a “Shop” section, where you can view and pre-order our exciting upcoming book releases, and there’s a wide selection of ‘in-house designed’ t-shirt’s available too. Offered in a variety of styles and colours, our designs are centred around our ‘Rediscover, Rebuild, Relaunch’ key messaging, giving hope and inspiration to the people that wear them, and those that encounter them. But why don’t you have a snoop around yourself to find out what the fuss is all about!
Launching Integrity Media through Mental as Anything
11 April 2022
Mental as Anything marks the official launch of our company! Grant wrote his memoir, mixing reality with fiction, to address the evolution of the steps taken to overcome his personal mental lows.
Written by our co-founder Grant Budge to provide a body of evidence that creative writing is a ground breaking tool to improve one’s mental health—alongside bibliotherapy, aka reading for solace—, the book centres around Ethan’s call for support from his friends to find a way towards contentment with himself.
Order your copy here.
A Pact For Life, the Relaunch, Podcast
28 February 2022
Our second Podcast focuses on the author of A Pact For Life, Grant Budge, in which he openly discusses the upcoming relaunch of this debut novel that was originally published in 2001.
Grant explains the reason and the rationale behind the occult-style horror novel, which delves into the tormented soul of its main character, John Garret, and his thirst for revenge and success through devil worship.
A Pact For Life stemmed from Grant's fascination of horror and the occult, and the fight between good and evil, but why don't you listen to his full motivations yourself, here.
Speaking with Integrity in Our First Ever Podcast
10 January 2022
Welcome to our very first podcast, which discusses the aims and motivation of new publishing company, Integrity Media.
Integrity Media is a multi-purpose platform, where the company not only aims to inspire budding authors to share their stories and to champion the authors, but also provides a support mechanism and platform for people suffering from poor mental health, a state of mind that affects 1 in 4 people in the UK.
We hope you find our very first Podcast informative and inspiring at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-dvmpi-11768eb
Putting Things Into Perspective
6 December 2021
We're excited to announce the launch of our new Podcast, Perspectives. This Podcast series aims to offer open perspectives on life, asking difficult questions about how society is evolving to challenge and affect collective mental health, whilst discussing how such challenges and experiences have inspired our authors’ works.
Featuring topic driven and thought-provoking conversations surrounding the books we publish and the authors, editors, and stories behind them, we will regularly bring you fresh content, compelling conversations, and enable you to delve into the psyche of an authors mind.
We can't wait for you to listen! Find it here
Creating a Brand
5 November 2021
On Monday, 25th October, Integrity Media Ltd began the launch of their “rediscover, rebuild, relaunch” campaign. This involved a group of female and male models, of varying ages, capturing the essence of what this publishing house intend to do. Highlighting the complexity of mental health and the empowering notion that we have the power to help ourselves.
After each of their shoots, our team interviewed the participants to gain a better understanding of their individual experiences with mental health, views on how society receives this, and their motivation for getting involved in our campaign.
To begin with the latter, almost all our participants got involved through their support of Integrity Media and their aims. Two models conceded that they originally accepted the job purely as a work opportunity. Yet, once releasing the motivation behind the shoot, they both agreed that “it made it feel a lot more relevant. As actors, we suffer with anxiety and was happy to help raise awareness.” The majority were aware and got involved with the desire to help other people and push the message of Integrity Media. As one woman mentioned that due to recent grievances, “getting involved in something that was focused on mental health was exactly what I needed. As I have found someone that will help me [her therapist], so finding a way to potentially help someone else was a massive bonus for me.” On another note, one model focused on the artistic side of the shoot, mentioned that “I was really interested to see how mental health would be portrayed. As it should be clear how nonsensical the stigma attached is. As there is no one-face of poor or positive mental health.”
Another key thing I hope to draw attention to is their universal view that mental health affects everyone. We had a young female and older male model independently raising the idea that we all have mental health in the same way we have physical, and it is a spectrum. We all just find ourselves on at different points at different times in our life, but we are never without it. It is because of this that mental health should be given significantly more attention. Quoting the view of one participant: “I think there is still a massive stigma. You can take a day off work if you have the flu or a broken arm, but you can’t say ‘I’m having a really bad mental health day and I’m really struggling. It doesn’t feel as appropriate. People will go into work as mental health doesn’t feel as important as physical health. When, you could argue it is more important.”
To build on this, other themes that came up during several interviews was the gap between gender and generations in relation to an open dialogue around mental health. One young gentleman highlighted that he feels, “as a man, there is a lot of pressure around being masculine.” Noting the statistic that suicide is the biggest killer of men under forty-five, he mentioned that “I don’t think it is society that are stopping men being open, it is men stopping men. As there is the belief that you should ‘man up,’ and you are not a man if you struggle.” Although almost all members of the campaign said that society is moving towards a more positive dialogue amongst the younger generation, it is the older members of society that stunt this growth. Adding that “as a result, men don’t know how to deal with other men who are open to the conversation. There is a culture that has prevented emotional education amongst men.”
In addition, a female model brought to our attention that the issues of openness was as much a problem between classes as it is generations. Sharing her own experience, she mentioned that her mum’s side of the family were more open-minded coming from a working-class background. While by contrast, her dad’s side were from a middle-class religious background and their up-bringing encouraged praying as a coping mechanism for problems they were having. As a result, she opened up that this results in a stunted approach to discussions and vulnerability, as mental health issues should be resolved silently and in private. Of course, this experience is not a universal one, I think the anecdote highlighted the complexity of mental health, the discussions around it and societies responsibility in all of the above.
With this noted, it is clear that our shoot team believed our society had a long way to go in destigmatising mental health. Whether that is in relation to reducing the pressure put on men, educating the older generation to accept mental health, and putting it on a par with our physical. Concluding that the shoot was a huge success, everyone’s honestly and openness during these interviews have been so deeply appreciated. As together, we begin to open up about mental health and how society needs to change.
The Big Launch
2 November 2021
While we've been doing a lot of development work and direct promotion behind the scenes, today marks the 'big launch' of our current competitions. Please see our competitions page and read the article on the Yorkshire Post website.