January 15, 2020
[Trigger warning: podcast references suicide and self-harm]
Research suggests an increasing number of young people are self-harming – and more than half of them aren’t seeking help. It’s clear this issue is rising – but why? And what can we do about it?
In this episode of MQ Open Mind, we talk to mental health campaigner Sian and researcher Ellen to try and get to the bottom of these questions.
Sian candidly shares her own experience of self-harm and explains why we must stop asking ‘how’ and start asking ‘why’ when it comes to speaking to people who are struggling. Through her research, Ellen’s doing exactly that. She tells us about her current project, the Card Sort Task for Self-Harm, and how it could one day become a valuable tool for clinicians to use during therapy.
Together, we discuss the most damaging myths surrounding self-harm, what it means to ‘recover’ and ways to find the best treatment for each person. Sian and Ellen also answer questions from MQ supporters about copycat behaviour and how best to approach someone you’re worried about.
See the 'It's Okay to Talk About Self-Harm' leaflet Ellen references in this episode.
July 29, 2019
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses and currently affects 1 in 10 people in the UK. But what if science could tell us who’s most likely to develop depression?
Researcher Helen and MQ ambassador John join host Hannah to explore this question in the latest episode of MQ Open Mind.
John first experienced depression age 5. Now 29, he describes what depression feels like for him, shares the ways he's learned to cope and questions the factors that might have made him more likely to experience depression. Helen is one of the lead researchers on MQ's IDEA project, which is using data from around the world to try and find the factors that put certain people at higher risk of depression. This could create a global tool to screen people for depression.
Together our guests debate if it would be a positive or negative experience to be told you're likely to develop depression, and question what support we need to have in place for this tool to really work.
June 14, 2019
Social media: is it good or bad for our mental health? We’ve been swamped with headlines talking about how damaging platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are to young people’s wellbeing. But the fact is there’s a lack of research – and social media is constantly developing.
In this episode, we delve into these issues with James, a mental health campaigner with experience of OCD and eating disorders, and Amy, a researcher psychologist looking into the effects of social media and technology on human interaction and wellbeing.
Together we talk about the pros and cons of using social media, how we can make sure research keeps up with the ever-evolving social media platforms, the effects of screen time on young people and the possibility of regulating social media use in future.
February 18, 2019
There’s a growing crisis in young people’s mental health. 75% of mental illness begins before the age of 18 - and 3 children in an average classroom are affected by a diagnosable condition.
This new episode of MQ Open Mind explores the role the education system can play in solving this crisis. We’re joined by Damani, a college student with experience of anxiety, Nick, who spent his career working in schools and Lucy, a researcher focussing on mental illness during adolescence.
Together we question the level of responsibility schools and teachers have when dealing with young people's mental health and delve into the pressures of today's curriculum. We also hear how changes in the adolescent brain can affect the likelihood of young people developing a mental illness.
September 5, 2018
This new episode of MQ Open Mind marks World Suicide Prevention Day, and explores how we can all play a role in preventing suicide.
We’re joined by Paul McGregor, a mental health campaigner who lost his dad to suicide when he was 18, and Professor Rory O’Connor, an MQ-funded researcher who’s been conducting research into suicide and self-harm for over 20 years. Rory discuss the circumstances that might cause someone to take their own life, and his work at the Suicidal Behaviour Research Lab in Glasgow to try and predict those who are most at risk. With this information, we can develop critical interventions to help those who are having suicidal thoughts.
Paul talks about his journey from lying about his dad’s death, to talking more openly about suicide – and why he thinks “speaking is strength”. Together we explore male suicide and stigma, coping with losing a loved one and how to engage with someone who’s having suicidal thoughts.
World Suicide Prevention Day may just be one day to shine a light on suicide but, as Rory and Paul emphasise, suicide prevention should be - and can be - 365 days a year. We all have one bit of the puzzle to help prevent suicide, improve education and smash the stigma.
February 27, 2018
Women are at a far greater risk to anxiety compared to men. In this episode we explore why. Researcher Olivia Remes at the University of Cambrdige offers insight on the social factors, whilst Dr Bronwyn Graham at the University of New South Wales in Australia explains the biological reasons. Bronwyn talks about her MQ-funded research looking at the hormone oestrogeon and it's impact on anxiety levels and treatment response. They're joined by Ellen Scott, journalist and host on the Metro's Mentally Yours podcast, who talks about her own experience of anxiety.
February 12, 2018
Mat Barlow, a firefighter, describes his battle with PTSD, triggered by an incident that took place whilst he was driving a fire engine. He describes some of the most tragic symptoms he’s experienced that affected his relationships, his family and his work. Imagine if we could have prevented those symptoms? He’s joined by Dr Jen Wild, a researcher who’s aiming to do just that. She talks us through her innovative programme that’s preventing mental health problems in emergency workers.
November 20, 2017
How can psychedelic drugs be used to treat mental illness? Former government drugs tsar Professor David Nutt is investigating how psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – could be used to revolutionise treatment for depression. David explains why he thinks it's working and the bureaucracy involved in researching illegal substances that leave him "treated like a drug dealer".
October 17, 2017
For Rose Bretecher, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has never left her handwashing or ordering things, instead she has been overwhelmed by distressing sexual thoughts, ranging from child abuse to sexuality and explicit mental images. Rose tells her story and chats to Dr Claire Gillan, an MQ-funded researcher, about the science behind this condition, how we can transform treatments and what it really means to be 'a little bit OCD'.
August 14, 2017
What does it feel like to live with social anxiety? It’s the most common of anxiety disorders – defined as a long-lasting and overwhelming fear of social situations by the NHS. Claire Eastham, author of We’re All Mad Here, speaks about her personal experience of living with the condition – from describing her first panic attack, to receiving the diagnosis and how she copes today. She takes the opportunity to quiz Professor John Powell, an MQ-funded researcher who’s testing an online tool to help relieve the symptoms of social anxiety. Could this app really transform the lives of people like Claire?
This episode is brought to you by MQ: Transforming Mental Health, the new major mental health research charity. Find out more about MQ’s work here: https://www.mqmentalhealth.org
Read Claire's blog: http://www.allmadhere.co.uk/