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Let's Talk by the University of Edinburgh

Let's Talk by the University of Edinburgh

By University of Edinburgh
When we are struggling with our mental health, often we will feel as if no one else is feeling as we are. It can be a huge relief to discover that you are not alone in these struggles.

The Let's Talk podcast is a new series hosted by our Chaplain, Harriet Harris, bringing together different members of the University community to have honest and thought-provoking conversations about a range of mental health topics.

These are serious topics with lots of space to grow understanding - and with lots of laughter along the way too!

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Let’s Talk: Overcoming mental-health stigma, 10bigideas Scotland
Overcoming Mental Health Stigma, 10bigideas Scotland: Ailie Ross-Oliver, 3rd year Politics undergraduate, joins Harriet Harris, to talk about her policy research into mental health stigmatisation, as part of the student-led think-tank, the Buchanan Institute, which has just launched its ‘10 Big Ideas for Scotland’. When our mental health deteriorates we can be most concerned to come across as seeming ok, because we fear or experience being stigmatised. Ailie and colleagues propose legislative and educational changes to prevent stigmatisation. For more information on their work, see here: 10 Big Ideas for      Scotland website (full report and pledges found here): https://www.10bigideasscotland.com/?fbclid=IwAR1NG3e19aR85cn_yvvHSixZX-cXoSi1a-qsus0apcM4dygmZaQ36qgoorM Buchanan Institute      website: https://www.buchananinst.org/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/10bigideas2025 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/10ideasscotland/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/10bigideas2025/
20:29
April 26, 2021
Let's Talk- Islamophobia Awareness
In this episode, I am joined by staff member Umar Malik and PhD student Estifa’a Zaid, for a special recording made in Islamophobia Awareness Month. Estifa’a and Umar talk about their experiences of growing up as Muslims in the UK, of coming to normalise Islamophobic behaviour, and of bracing themselves for reprisal attacks after terrorist incidents (so-called ‘Islamist’ or otherwise). They talk about reporting hate crimes, and why people may not choose to report; the targeting of hijab-wearing women; the intersection with racism and the momentum of Black Lives Matter; and the intensifying of Islamophobic and racist experiences after the Brexit vote. They look for improved relations between journalists and Muslim communities as one way of curbing scaremongering and growing understanding. Resources associated with this podcast: Please see these excellent Stand-Up to Hate animations. MEND, Muslim Engagement and Development, https://www.mend.org.uk/about-mend/ Umar Malik’s blog, Islamophobia and Me, Estifa’a Zaid’s blog about the Syrian Tutoring Programme and Black Lives Matter, Zain Hussain’s blog on Co-existence and Black Lives Matter, This current MOOC on FutureLearn: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/an-introduction-to-the-sharia-and-islamic-law Plus a new free short online course, which starts in January 2021, called Christian Muslim Relations - visit FutureLearn in the new year to find out more and sign up if you're interested" And the work of Ewan McAndrew and Glaire Anderson in adding Islamic Art to Wikipedia
40:16
November 30, 2020
Let's Talk, Life in Lockdown- Fitness workouts when self-isolating
In this podcast, recorded especially in hybrid times when many students are self-isolating in their halls and flats, and doing their learning digitally, I am joined by international fitness trainer Ricky Long. Ricky and his partner Lyndsey Morrison have put together a team of fitness experts who are providing streamed workouts especially for those who are stuck indoors. On most days there are 3 exercise work-outs a day – amazing and all free of charge to members of the University. Ricky talks about the benefits of exercise for physical and mental health. He gives us some great tips for building healthy habits into our lives, structuring our living spaces so that the chair for studying is different from the place for watching Netflix, and owning our morning (whatever time the morning starts for us) so that we can own our day. The link for the fitness workouts is here https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/health-wellbeing/live-streaming-exercise-classes Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rickylong42/
36:55
October 21, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 14: Holly, returning home to profoundly deaf parents, and sharing BSL signs
Holly McConnell is a 2nd year PE undergraduate, who began university at the age of 16, and in lockdown is combining university work with supporting her parents, who are both profoundly deaf. Holly tells us about the Youtube videos that she is making with her Mum, sharing signs so that others can learn more about British Sign Language. She also talks about growing up with sign language as her first language, and learning English at nursery age. She talks about moving into halls and starting university so young, and having been used to a quiet household. She loves her sport and her friends, and is also aware of an impact on her mental health, and she shares with us ways she develops to stay mentally well. **** For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
27:15
September 11, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 13: Alison &Lockdown as a British Sign Language speaker
Alison Hendry is the British Sign Language Development Officer with the University of Edinburgh Student Disability Service. She is joined for this podcast by her BSL interpreter Anna Spence. Alison tells us about the challenges for communication and technology that lockdown presents for her, and her appreciation of the BSL Scotland Act, which led to the creation of her post at the University, and which ensures that all Scottish Government Covid19 updates have an interpreter present so that people are not missing crucial information. Alison also talks about the anxiety of moving her BSL teaching on line, how imposter syndrome can kick in, and how regular connections with family and friends helps to keep her spirits up. During Deaf Awareness Week Alison made a series of videos, including one where her Mum gives herperspective on having a deaf child. It’s very informative - have a look here: -  https://twitter.com/alisonhendry16/status/1259483570986418178?s=21 To access this episode with subtitles, please see our University podcast page here:
35:21
August 22, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 12: Heather, student mental health and influencing public policy
Heather McAdam, a third year undergraduate intercalating with Global Health, and soon to return to the Medical School, is also the Student Association Rep for the Medical School and founder of the mental health support community, WellMed. Heather spoke in the previous Let’s Talk podcast series, on suicidality. Now she is back to tell us about her work during lockdown with the Scottish Government Mental Health Directorate, engaging young people in policy making. She describes some of the key challenges of lockdown for students, who are caught in a middle ground between governmental and societal focus on school education on the one hand, and business and employment on the other. Can governments and organisations reach out more to students, and now that the old social influencers have stepped back, can young people step forward? For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
34:20
August 18, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 11: Martha, Dementia and lockdown
Martha Pollard, a PhD student in Alzheimer and Dementia Research at the University of Edinburgh tells us about the challenges of lockdown for those living with dementia and for their carers, especially now that they are unable to get the company and respite of meeting in groups, or of receiving specialist care in their homes. Martha also talks about the interruption that lockdown brings to her doctoral research, now that she cannot access dementia wards. We don’t hear much about research being interrupted by lockdown, but this is the case for many people doing field research, lab work, or reliant on library collections. Nonetheless, Martha is finding that the confinement is leading to discoveries of new ways of working, and so brings with it a new kind of freedom. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24 hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
25:06
July 14, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 10: Anthony, maintaining academic connections with students and researchers
Dr Anthony Newton,  Senior Tutor in the School of GeoSciences, talks about the changes that lockdown is bringing within his School, from missing the chats by the kettle that bond a team and also often lead to important information or discoveries, through redesigning activities and assignments when all the fieldtrips are cancelled, to rethinking multiple possible scenarios for how next year might look. We get insights from Anthony into how students and staff are staying connected, and we hear about the ‘Café at the end of the Universe’, a new meeting point for researchers in the Northern climes. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
22:32
July 1, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 9: Liz, Global Health and Global Healing
Professor Liz Grant, Director of the Global Health Academy and Co-Director of the University of Edinburgh Global Compassion Initiative, gives us a global perspective on the pandemic, and its effects on lower income countries. Liz is a palliative care specialist, and describes the need for doctors, families and carers to be quickly trained in end-of-life care, because there usually isn’t time to bring in specialised palliative care teams. Liz also talks about her work with the World Health Organisation in making compassion the bedrock of our response to Covid19, and the prospect of changing our language from ‘isolating’ to ‘cocooning’ the vulnerable. Liz is also working with Religions for Peace, and envisions with faith leaders a society that will emerge more united from this pandemic, more aware of the power of faith and of nature in making us globally well. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
35:38
June 24, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 8: Eva, self-compassion has turned the fear of being alone into a joyful solitude
Eva Mutua, a Vet School Masters student from Kenya, is finding things to be grateful for during lockdown. Eva describes how a compassion workshop and compassion practices have enabled her to face fears. Before lockdown was announced, Eva was frightened of being alone, regardless of the pandemic. The compassion workshop that she attended came just in time for her to find ways of turn her fears of loneliness into the discovery of the fruits of solitude. She is enjoying getting to know herself better and thereby leaning also to be a better friend to others. Practices that she particularly finds helpful are: taking time to be with yourself and do something fun just for the joy of it; morning journaling; tuning into your needs so that you can know whether you are meeting them; and facing your fears. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
27:27
June 17, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 7: Alan, support for depression during lockdown
Alan Murray, Professor of Engineering, and Assistant Principal, Academic Support, talks about support for depression during lockdown, how powerful and healing it is to face your feelings, writing songs,  the joys of crafting, and his granddaughter's 7th birthday party on Zoom. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
23:34
June 5, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 6: Amanda, finishing your degree and starting a job
What is like finishing up your degree and starting your new job, unable to see anyone outside your own flat? Amanda Scully, 4th year International Relations undergraduate and forthcoming Vice-President Communities with the Student Association, tells us about managing assessment changes and the library closure, ending her internship, and getting ready to start her busy Sabbatical Officer year, all from the confines of her small flat in Edinburgh. She also talks about her decision to remain in Edinburgh when many of her classmates were returning home, and what it is like to hear news of the lockdown from her home city of New York. She reflects on how connection with family can grow stronger despite, or because of social distancing, and the delights of transatlantic online family workouts! For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
28:20
June 3, 2020
Life in lockdown- episode 5: Rosie, family estrangement and OCD in lockdown
Rosie Taylor is coming to the end of her 3rd year as a Biology undergraduate. She is the outgoing LGBT+ Officer with the Student Association, and a founding member of WellComm, the award-winning wellbeing and community organisation for STEM subjects at the University of Edinburgh. Rosie gave interviews in our previous Let’s Talk podcast series on Mental Health. In this episode during lockdown, Rosie talks about family estrangement in times of emergency, how overwhelming it can be to have all this time to think about how you are feeling, and wondering what a ‘return to normal’ means when you are questioning ‘What is my “normal”, what was my “before”?’. Rosie also describes how lockdown and online learning exacerbates aspects of OCD for her, and how she wants to feel safe but also to be open to things that she enjoys. And she revisits the subject of social media: the pressure of feeling always available; the messaging about the virus, or weight control in lockdown, and the push for productivity, which detracts from the time needed to be with ourselves and to heal ourselves; but also the possibility of watching Netflix online together and of contacting old friends. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
36:05
May 25, 2020
Life in Lockdown- episode 4: Marti- Compassion is vital
Dr Marti Balaam from the Medical School and Nursing Studies talks about how compassion for ourselves as well as for others is so needed during the Covid19 lockdown. Marti talks about equipping nursing and medical students for going onto hospital wards, reminding them to look after themselves as well as their patients. She describes what happened when she and her household fell ill with suspected Covid19: how fear kicked in at first, and then she remembered what she teaches others about self-compassion. Marti also tells us about the Compassion Salon: a speak-easy initiative she has created, which is attracting attention from around the world. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
31:03
May 15, 2020
Life in Lockdown- episode 3: Donna- Life on the Emergency Wards
Dr Donna Dalgetty, a former PhD student, and former Medical and Nursing Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, is now an emergency doctor on the Isle of Wight. She gives us some amazing insights into life on the wards during the Covid19 pandemic: the ways in which the crisis is changing the competitive nature of the NHS, and giving doctors a greater sense of permission to look out for one another and themselves. Her team is bending over backwards in welcoming the new cohort of doctors who have been fast-tracked onto the wards.  Donna talks about the challenges of delivering compassionate care through layers of Personal Protective Equipment, managing PPE with hearing aids, and being an accompanier at the time of death. We also hear what a lifeline it is to NHS workers to hear the nation cheering them on at 8pm on Thursdays. For Coronavirus updates and advice,and FAQs please see the University webpages here: https://www.ed.ac.uk/news/covid-19 The Chaplaincy blogs ‘For Times Like These’ https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/for-times-like-these are written specifically for mental health and wellbeing support during lockdown, as are these mindfulness virtual drop-ins: https://www.ed.ac.uk/chaplaincy/mindfulness-and-wellbeing/mindfulness-virtual-drop-ins For University support The University Listening Service (for students and staff) is continuing throughout the lockdown, listening.service@ed.ac.uk Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines: If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414
30:03
May 8, 2020
Let's Talk- Life in Lockdown episode 2
Sam and Jenny, childcare support for NHS workers Sam Bresland and Jenny Pewsey are 5th year medics seeing the cohort in the year above fast-tracked through graduation. This experience has propelled them to find ways to support NHS staff by setting up the Edinburgh branch of MedicShare: a way for medical students and others to provide childcare for NHS workers. Sam and Jenny tell us about their work with MedicShare, and how they themselves are managing the social distancing, and finding different levels of interpretation and conscientiousness about what ‘distancing’ means. We also talk about where they were when the lockdown happened – a moment in time that almost froze us in whatever location we happened to be at the time. If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414 For University support Nightline Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff The Listening Service (for students and staff), chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk, 0131 650 2595
23:17
April 23, 2020
Let's Talk- Life in Lockdown episode 1
Welcome to the Let’s Talk: Life in Lockdown series of podcasts from the UoE and Edinburgh Student Association, keeping us together and sharing experiences in this extraordinary period of Covid19 social distancing. The University is continuing, but in ways never before known. Most of us are working and studying away from University buildings, and in isolation from one another. We are all in this together, but in vastly diverse circumstances, and it is so interesting to hear from one another about these. I’m Harriet Harris, The University Chaplain, and in each short interview week I’m joined by students or staff of the University who talk about what they are doing in the lockdown, from being fast-tracked into medical practice, supporting NHS staff with childcare, returning to a ‘silent’ household with profoundly deaf parents, meeting the sudden imperative to deliver all teaching online, being in Edinburgh with family abroad, being abroad with family in the UK, having COVID19 in the household, and more. We also talk in each interview about how the distancing and self-isolating is affecting us: what are the challenges for us, and what are the new discoveries, what are we leaning about our mental health and wellbeing, and what is happening for us that might never have happened otherwise? I’ve loved having these conversations with our wonderful students and staff, who have been so open, thoughtful, reflective, everyone has given something personal, and we’ve learned a lot together. Kritika, fast-tracked into medical practice 6thyear medic Kritika Kalia tells us how her graduation was brought forward by three months so that she is able to join in the frontline NHS work. Final year medical students are finding their training needing to kick in earlier than expected. Kalia is in an interim period, as so many of us are – in a waiting game. Kritika's interim is between graduation and being given her posting. She will come back and tell us how it is going, once the ward work begins. She also talks about the pressures of social distancing even on the spacious beaches of Norfolk, and how taking up the harp has become a fantastic new hobby that may never have happened without the social response we are needing to make to COVID19. If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. · Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 · The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 · Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414 For University support Nightline Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff The Listening Service (for students and staff), chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk, 0131 650 2595
25:44
April 23, 2020
Stress, burn out, and recovery
For this podcast I am joined by James Saville, who is the Director of HR. James talks about his own experience of stress and burn out, and from a perspective of someone who is used to achieving and operating at a senior level, and who also needs to understand work stress, not only because he manages other staff, but because as HR Director he oversees the University’s response to stress at work. James speaks with remarkable openness, warmth and personal insight as we discuss journeys into and out of burn-out, recognising signs and triggers, managing your inner chimp or critic, and noticing and receiving the support of those around you. We also talk about some of the ‘blessings’ of burn-out: learning to look after yourself, re-evaluating your priorities and wanting to do good in the world, and growing in self-knowledge and compassion. If any of the issues in this broadcast have affected you and you’d like support, here are some helplines. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999 A 24/ hour emergency mental health service, Mental health assessment service us on 0131 537 6000. Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 ·  The Samaritans 08457 90 90 90 ·  Edinburgh Crisis Centre 0808 801 0414 For University support Student Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/student-counselling   Staff Counselling Service, https://www.ed.ac.uk/counselling-services/staff  The Listening Service (for students and staff), chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk, 0131 650 2595
01:12:07
December 19, 2019
Suicidality and finding life again
In this podcast I am joined by 3rd year Medical undergraduate, Heather McAdam (President & founder of WellMed, for Medical students at UoE). We talk about the mental pain that can lead someone to try to end their life, what helps and what doesn’t help if you are feeling suicidal, or if you are supporting someone who is, and how it is possible to come through a suicide attempt into enjoying and appreciating life in a whole new way. Heather shares some inspiring tactics that she adopted, and describes how social media was positive in her recovery, for enabling her to share feelings and insights, and to discover that she was not alone. We talk in this podcast about transference - the ways in which we can pick up feelings from someone, such as feelings of anxiety or depression, and that those feelings are not your own and do not need to stay with you. One way to manage transference is to talk to another person about the feelings you have noticed. You can use the University Staff or Student counselling Service or the Listening Service for this. Support Please use the following information if any of the issues discussed in this podcast have affected you and you’d like support. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999. You can also contact the NHS 24 hour emergency mental health assessment service on 0131 537 6000. 24/7 helplines Breathing Space: 0800 83 85 87 The Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 Edinburgh Crisis Centre: 0808 801 0414 University support The Advice Place Nightline Student Counselling Service Staff Counselling Service The Listening Service (for students and staff) at the Chaplaincy: chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk; 0131 650 2595
56:48
December 12, 2019
Fear of failure, perfectionism, impost syndrome and living life each moment
Sharing their personal experiences, and their musical tastes, in this podcast are 3rd year undergraduate Stephanie McNair, and Assistant Principal and Professor of Engineering, Alan Murray. Together, we talk about the tyranny of perfectionism, fearing that we will fail, or that we have failed, and feeling that we are not good enough - imposter syndrome being such a common feeling that affects pretty much all of us at various times. We also touch on aspects of grief and depression, which Stephanie and Alan brought into the conversation. And we think about how to bring positives out of the negatives: knowing that we learn a lot from the things that we have been through, and coming to appreciate living life to the full in each moment. If you or somebody you know has been affected by any of the topics raised in this podcast, or you want to find out more about mental health and wellbeing support at the University of Edinburgh, check out these links: https://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/yourvoice/ourwork/mentalhealthweek/resources/and https://www.ed.ac.uk/students/health-wellbeing’
01:05:49
December 5, 2019
Grief, loss and appreciation
Talking with me about her experience of grief and loss is 3rd year biology undergraduate Isobel Cordrey. Izzy describes the shock of hearing that her closest childhood friend had died, of finding herself in a role of passing on the news to other friends, of feeling guilty when she isn’t thinking about her friend, and guilty when she is thinking about her ‘instead’ of getting on with her life. Izzy also talks about what helps and what doesn’t when you have lost someone close to you, how a deeper awareness of death helps us to appreciate life and to value our family and our friendships, and how we can be drawn together in shared understanding with others who have suffered loss.We also come to a realisation that we all need help, that most people want to be helpful, that we can help others to know how to support us, and we can learn how to receive. Isobel Cordrey is a coordinator at Peer Support scheme WellComm. Izzy is considering setting up a group at the University for people who would like to talk about grief or other forms of loss. If this would be of interest to you, please email me, Harriet Harris, at h.harris@ed.ac.uk.
01:00:13
November 28, 2019
Loneliness, isolation, and the courage to make friends
Two undergraduates, Rosie Taylor and Stephanie McNair, come together for this podcast to talk about loneliness. More and more people, of all ages, are reporting feeling lonely, and we know that this is bad for our physical and mental health. Rosie Taylor is LGBT+ Officer at the Students’ Association. Rosie and Stephanie give voice to how some of this feels, and how shame and self-judgement worsen loneliness because they make us hide ourselves away. They share their experiences of starting university, or returning after taking a year out, of the pros and cons of social media, and of how smartphones can be both social aids and social barriers. You will hear in this podcast about how connectedness is a basic human need, physiologically and mentally, and releases helpful chemicals in the brain. We talk about how we can coach our shame or inner critic; how making friends involves some courage but that others often meet our fears with compassion; and how we can connect with ourselves and so turn loneliness into an enriching solitude, which is a great base from which to form friendship. We also talk in this podcast about being on your own at Christmas, and invite University of Edinburgh students to email Eleri Connick, Eleri.Connick@ed.ac.uk, if you do not join family or friends over the Christmas period, and are alone in Edinburgh when the University is closed. Eleri is organising Christmas lunches for those who are here. Support Please use the following information if any of the issues discussed in this podcast have affected you and you’d like support. If you feel that you or someone you are with is in danger right now, please call 999. You can also contact the NHS 24 hour emergency mental health assessment service on 0131 537 6000. 24/7 helplines Breathing Space: 0800 83 85 87 The Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90 Edinburgh Crisis Centre: 0808 801 0414 University support Nightline Student Counselling Service Staff Counselling Service The Listening Service (for students and staff) at the Chaplaincy: chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk; 0131 650 2595
42:26
November 21, 2019
Anxiety, depression and ‘leaning in’
Joining me for this podcast are 3rd year Zoology undergraduate Rosie Taylor, and Assistant Principal and Professor of Engineering Alan Murray. Rosie tells about her experiences of great sadness and despair from when she was very young, Alan from when he was older having first seen family members suffer. They talk about how hard it is to communicate the feelings of heaviness when you are in them, and how hard it is to get out of bed. Other things we cover in this podcast include: talking about mental health across generations, how shame can make matters worse, what panic attacks feel like, ways of getting back to safety, and different experiences of medication. Rosie and Alan raise the crucial question: if I’m honest with people, will I still be seen as a capable or credible person? They discover important breakthroughs by being honest, whilst also learning to keep their boundaries. They both agree that leaning into how you are feeling, learning self-acceptance, and forgiving the past are wise and generous ways of responding to what you are going through.
01:04:07
November 14, 2019
Introduction to the series
Welcome to the Let’s Talk series of podcasts from the UoE, where we talk about life and all that it may throw at you at University, focussing on our mental health. I’m Harriet Harris, The University Chaplain, and each week I’m joined by students or staff of the University who come and talk about their experiences with mental health. When we’re struggling with our mental health Often we imagine that no one is feeling like we are. It’s such a relief to discover you are not alone , or weird or shameful for having mental health difficulties. We’re finding that it’s good to talk, and good to listen and good to be listened to. In this Series, We talk about anxiety, depression, loneliness, suicide, stress and burnout, grief and loss, perfectionism, fear of failure and imposter syndrome. Serious topics, with lots of space to grow our understanding,and with laughter along the way too. We talk about how these things feel, what helps, what doesn’t help, what we learn from the most difficult of experiences, and how we find and enjoy life again. We hope you will join us. I’ve loved having these conversations with our wonderful students and staff, who have been so open, thoughtful, reflective, everyone has given something personal, and we’ve learned a lot together.
01:31
November 14, 2019