Pebble in the Pond

Episode 13 | Richard Thorpe: How to be an Accidental Counsellor

An episode of Pebble in the Pond

By Sam Stewart
Pebble in the Pond is a podcast that hopes to create a ripple of change for mental health.

Listen in as we interview the most fascinating and accomplished people in mental health, from lived experience speakers through to researchers, academics and influential industry leaders.

Hosted by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, we are committed to progressing the understanding of mental health for the benefit for all.
More places to listen
Pebble in the Pond is a podcast that hopes to create a ripple of change for mental health.

Listen in as we interview the most fascinating and accomplished people in mental health, from lived experience speakers through to researchers, academics and influential industry leaders.

Hosted by the Australian & New Zealand Mental Health Association, we are committed to progressing the understanding of mental health for the benefit for all.

More places to listen

Episode 14 | Kevin Humphreys: Busting the Myths of Mental Illness
If you’ve got a brain and a blood supply, you’re susceptible to mental illness; it doesn’t discriminate. Kevin Humphreys was a military combat pilot and commander, who now as a civilian rescue helicopter pilot, flight instructor and examiner has a powerful message about mental illness to share. Flying Blackhawk helicopters by age 21, Kevin would go on to complete several deployments in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan plus humanitarian operations in Papua New Guinea. Towards the peak of his military career he contemplated suicide and suffered a breakdown due to PTSD, depression, anxiety and bullying. Whilst a drive in the backstreets of Baghdad bought on PTSD, it was the isolation of leadership and a workplace with a toxic bullying command environment that triggered Kevin’s depression, anxiety and ultimately his breakdown and suicidal ideation. Tune in as Kevin takes us on the recovery rollercoaster that involved the power of visualisation and reuniting his head and heart, in what he describes as the longest journey one will ever take – but a journey well worth the effort.
November 13, 2019
Episode 13 | Richard Thorpe: How to be an Accidental Counsellor
If you’ve ever found yourself on the receiving end of a co-worker or employee’s problems, it can be difficult to know how to respond appropriately. So, what if you knew there was a way to become an effective accidental counsellor? In this week’s episode, psychologist Richard Thorpe joins us to discuss how a simple counselling model can be implemented into the workplace by both employers and employees, as well as the most effective strategies to foster self-care and prevent burnout.
November 5, 2019
Episode 12 | Camille Wilson: Reimagining Workplace Mental Health
What happens when the person responsible for managing mental health cases is the one who becomes unwell? This was exactly the case for our very own association ambassador Camille Wilson, a lived experience advocate, founder of Grow Together Now, a social enterprise with the mission to change the way we see mental health in workplaces. In this week’s episode, Camille takes us on a journey of her personal experience, exploring the differences between how we think we should manage mental health, compared to what it was like to be on the other end, and what we can be doing about making the shift that needs to happen.
October 29, 2019
Episode 11 | James Hill and Aaron McCann: Why Mental Health is a Crucial Workplace Issue
More and more, we’re seeing workplaces take a driving seat in the health and wellbeing of its employees. James Hill and Aaron McCann are prime examples of what happens when employers and employees come together in the name of mental health.  As Energy Australia’s mental health ambassadors, both men have used their respective personal experiences to take awareness of workplace mental health to the next level. Listen in as I chat with both men about their personal experience with mental health, as well as their decision to take the stand and speak out about the importance of everyone in the workplace playing their part in mental wellbeing.
October 22, 2019
Episode 10 | Dr Barbara Disley: A New Way to Approach Mental Health Care
When it comes to mental health services, are we really looking at the bigger picture? As a former panel member for the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, Barbara Disley has heard the stories of over 1,000 people who experienced abuse or neglect while in state care. She is currently the Chief Executive of Emerge Aotearoa, a large non government mental health, disability and social housing provider. In 2011, she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to mental health. Join us on this week’s episode as Barbara discusses the importance of integrating new ways of providing mental health services that address not only the medical needs of people but also the wider range of social, housing, employment and financial needs and availabilities.
October 15, 2019
Episode 9 | Megan Mitchell: Self Harm and Suicide Prevention in Children
Episode nine and this week we’re shining a spotlight on the mental health of children, with a guest who’s committed to curbing the numbers of self harm and suicide among children. Appointed in 2013, Megan Mitchell is Australia’s first National Children’s Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission. In her work to date, Megan has focused on the prevalence of suicide and intentional self-harm in children and young people, the impact of family and domestic violence on children and young people, the oversight of children and young people in correctional detention, and the experiences and of young parents and their children.
October 8, 2019
Episode 8 | Gabrielle Vilic: How Peer Support Workers are Revolutionising Mental Health
In the world of mental health, peer support workers are an integral part of our community. With over 24 years’ experience, Gabrielle Vilic is a well-respected leader in the mental health sector, working across a range of government and government sectors. In advocating for peer support, she has developed the lived experience workforce to over 50 positions in the last 4 years. Tune into episode eight as we chat with Gabrielle about what it means to be a support worker and her experience working peer to peer to help those in need.
October 1, 2019
Episode 7 | David Kavanagh: What Role is Technology Playing in Mental Health?
With the increase in apps, technology and online self-help resources, mental wellbeing in the digital age is an area of fast-paced development. Professor David Kavanagh is a clinical psychology researcher at Queensland University of Technology and chairs the Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council. Over the last 12 years, David has been developing and testing e-mental health programs and apps, and since 2013 has been leading the Australian Department of Health’s e-Mental Health in Practice project, which helps health workers across Australia to use digital resources and services. Take a listen as David joins us in episode seven to discuss the role technology plays in assisting with mental health, and how we can benefit from implementing these resources into the workplace.
September 23, 2019
Episode 6 | Shaun Robinson: The State of Mental Health in New Zealand
Joining us for episode six is Shaun Robinson, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. With degrees in business and community work, Shaun has held several CEO positions in not-for-profit organisations, addressing issues from child wellbeing to HIV and AIDS. He has been a management consultant to public hospitals, as well as a policy advisor to former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark. As an integral member of New Zealand’s mental health sector, Shaun joins us to discuss the challenges, opportunities and developments being made in the country, as well as his own personal mental health journey.
September 17, 2019
Episode 5 | Heather Price: How Psychological Safety Can Revolutionise Workplace Mental Health
Onto episode five and this week we are shining a spotlight on a leader who has shaped the strategic vision of organisations across the globe on diversity and inclusion. Following a decade of guiding South African organisations on dismantling apartheid in the workplace, Heather Price has continued her mission for creating working environments that are psychologically safe. This is defined as a person’s willingness to bring their whole self to work – to speak up, propose new ideas, challenge traditional ways of doing things and take intelligent risks – all without fear of punishment, humiliation or career limitations. Heather has presented at numerous international conferences on issues of inclusion, bias and psychological safety, paired with establishing consulting group Symmetra in Australia in 2003. Listen in as I chat with Heather about her journey in breaking down barriers, creating a psychologically safe workplace and being aware of the unconscious bias that could be holding us back.
September 10, 2019
Episode 4 | Craig Hamilton: How a Bipolar Episode Triggered the Search for Identity
Craig Hamilton was a high-profile sports broadcaster for the ABC when, in September 2000, on the eve of his assignment for the Sydney Olympic Games, he experienced a major psychotic episode in public that led to him being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Craig spent 12 days in hospital and once he recovered, set out to spread the word on mental health awareness. Listen in as we chat with Craig about stigma, identity and the episode that led him to become a voice for change.
September 3, 2019
Episode 3 | Dr Justin Feinstein: Floating and it’s Impact on the Brain
Commonly referred to as floating, floatation therapy or sensory deprivation has taken the world by storm, praised by celebrities and clinical professionals alike for its relaxing effects on both mind and body. Dr. Justin Feinstein is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Director of the Float Clinic and Research Centre at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. His laboratory investigates the effects of floatation therapy on both the body and the brain, while also exploring its potential as a treatment for promoting mental health and healing in patients who suffer from anxiety and stress-related disorders. Justin’s research has been published in a number of top scientific journals and has been featured in press around the world, including the New York Times, TIME magazine, and Australia’s Sunday Night.
August 27, 2019
Episode 2 | Matt Caruana: A Life Behind the Smile
What looked like everything going great had a very different story behind the scenes. International speaker Matt Caruana is using his dark past and turning points as a catalyst to instruct, inspire, influence and impact people's frame of mind, for them to change their lives. Find out more about Matt's life-changing journey with mental health and how he has used his experience to reach others in need on a personal level.  
August 20, 2019
Episode 1 | Lucy Brogden: Finding a Calling for Mental Health Advocacy
Listen in to episode one of our podcast with one of the biggest names in mental health. Discover Lucy Brogden's journey into the mental health industry. Hear how she balances life as a wife and carer to husband John, how she found a calling for her passion and how she became a key driver for workplace mental health.
August 11, 2019
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