Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Top mental health podcasts

And now it’s 2017! Happy New Year! Traditionally we kickstart January by recommending some of our favourite blogs. In the past we’ve covered mental health, dementia and vlogging. This year we’re looking at mental health podcasts.

Podcasting is a form of audio broadcasting on the internet. You can download apps or programmes to listen to podcasts, or alternatively you can just listen on the podcast webpage. It's usually possible to subscribe to a regular podcast and receive notifications of new episodes if you find one you really like.

Personally I love listening to the radio, so finding interesting podcasts is just taking that one extra step on a highly rewarding audio journey. You can find out more about other people’s views, experiences and stories around mental health – not just in the UK but anywhere in the world. An added bonus: they’re usually free. And the real joy is that you can listen anytime and anyplace that has an internet connection (or download for later if you’re going somewhere offline).

As usual the bias in our choice is mainly (although not entirely) towards medical distress as opposed to medical illness. (You can read more about the debate around the medicalisation of mental health on this blog). However, you only have to type "mental health podcast" into your internet search engine and you will discover that the choice of listening options is endless. So, if our top picks are not yours, just start looking. But now to our list:

Shrink Rap radio

Later this month I’m starting a free online course with Future Learn - Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture with Professor of Clinical Psychology Peter Kinderman of Liverpool University. And then, as luck would have it, I found this podcast with him: Exploring the Disease Model Debate.

It’s just one of hundreds of podcasts on the Shrink Rap radio site from US clinical psychologist David Van Nuys. “All the psychology you need to know and just enough to make you dangerous”.

The Psychology Podcast

Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman brings us The Psychology Podcast.

“Each episode will feature a guest who will stimulate your mind, and give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in.” Recent topics have included – exercise and mental stamina, and the psychology of improvised comedy.

On Being – a social enterprise with a radio show at its heart

If you're interested in finding out how trauma can affect your mental health, then here's a podcast worth tuning in to: "Restoring the Body: Yoga, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Treating Trauma" with Bessel van der Kolk. Bessel is the Medical Director of the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts in the United States.

Wellbeing podcasts from the Mental Health Foundation

The Wellbeing podcasts aim to help you relax and improve your sense of wellbeing. They feature a number of subjects including mindfulness, stress and relaxation, positive thinking, wellbeing and nutrition, and exercise and mental health.

All In The Mind - ABC Radio National

An Australian radio station has a podcast on the innovative Open Dialogue approach which was developed in Lapland and is now spreading around the world due to its high success rates in helping people experiencing severe mental distress. We hear about the way it’s working in Bradford at a Soteria House.

Wellcome Collection – Feeling Emotional

This podcast from the Wellcome Collection features psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and writer Susie Orbach in conversation with writer, campaigner, international speaker and trainer Jacqui Dillon, Chair of the Hearing Voices Network.

University of York podcasts

What’s it like being a Dialectical Behavioural Therapist or a Mental Health Nurse? Listen to interviews with mental health nurses who talk about their roles within the profession, what they get out of their jobs and why they followed these career paths.

The League of Awkward Unicorns

With a title like The League of Awkward Unicorns you just have to find out more! This is a podcast from friends and authors Alice Bradley and Deanna Zandt who talk about anxiety, depression and all the other ways your brains can play tricks on you.

Act for Change - A Night with Mental Health 

A trio of talks from 2014, including Professor of Clinical Psychology Richard Bentall on the social causes of psychosis. Hosted by YouTube but audio not video.

All in the Mind – BBC Radio 4

Another All in the Mind, this time from the British Broadcasting Corporation. These BBC Radio 4 podcasts explore  "the limits and potential of the mind, how we think and how we behave". Claudia Hammond is the regular presenter.

Medicine Unboxed

Medicine Unboxed engages the public and front-line NHS staff “with a view of medicine that is infused and elaborated by the humanities”.

Here we have Research Psychologist Eleanor Longden, Consultant Psychiatrist David Sturgeon and Professor Richard Bentall in discussion on The Heard Voice.

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Interview based podcasts from 
the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers. You can dip into a huge range of topics: everything from the Demonisation of psychiatrists in fiction to Tasers and tasering.

Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development

A podcast promoting and supporting good mental health in the workplace.

And finally...

Public Health Network Cymru will also be launching a new podcast series any minute now. It has been recorded over the past few months, with topics including LGBT health, the Knowledge Exchange, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). The Network will also create short 5 minute podcasts with topics including the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and the Public Health Wales Wellbeing statement and plan.

Dip into some of these podcasts and let us know what you think. We always love to hear from you – you can ring, email or post a comment in the box below. And tell us about your favourite podcasts too.

All the best for 2017 from the mental health team at PAVO – Anne, Carla, Jane and Jackie.

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