MQ Open Mind looks at the science behind mental health and its potential to transform lives. The show digs deep into the cutting-edge research taking on mental illness and speaks to the people it could help. Hear conversations on a range of different conditions, from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia and bipolar. Brought to you by MQ: Transforming Mental Health, the new major mental health research charity.
Ep 12: Tackling the rise in self-harm among young people
[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.
Ep 11: Can science tell us who's most likely to develop depression?
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.
Ep 10: Social media and mental health: The facts behind the headlines
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.
Ep 9: Young people's mental health: What's school got to do with it?
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.
Ep 8: How can we work together to prevent suicide?
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.
Ep 7: Why are women twice as likely to develop anxiety?
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well Done MQ
I found this really interesting. Well done MQ Open Mind. I was diagnosed at the age of 15 with clinical depression, unfortunately back then mental health was not an open subject. I got NO help at all from anyone at school. I’m pleased that there is now a lot of conversations and changes happening with regards to Child and Adolescents Mental Health
V informative - great host
Great podcast, thank you!
Fascinating insights into the really important work that MQ are doing.