MQ Open Mind

MQ Open Mind

By MQ Mental Health Research

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 the mental health research charity, MQ: Transforming Mental Health


Dr Sian Williams: From BBC To Psychology

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to BBC broadcaster, author and counselling psychologist, Dr Sian Williams. Sian's career in broadcasting spans nearly forty years, in which she spent over a decade hosting 'BBC Breakfast'. Sian has also hosted major events for BBC including two royal weddings and the London 2012 Olympics. Currently, Sian is also a Chartered Counselling Psychologist working for both the NHS and in private practice, helping people manage anxiety, stress and trauma. In this conversation, they discussed the mental health of journalists, PTSD in emergency workers, and how change can create endless opportunities.
14/05/2454m 45s

Professor Allan Young & Diagnosing Bipolar Disorder

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to the Head of the School of Academic Psychiatry at the Institue of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Professor Allan Young.  Allan’s extensive research focuses on the causes and treatments for severe psychiatric illnesses, particularly mood disorders. He was also ranked as one of the world's leading scientific minds in the field of Psychiatry and Psychology, according to the 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list. In this conversation, they discussed common misconceptions about mood disorders, the latest interventions for bipolar disorder, and how jetlag can affect your mood.  
30/04/2445m 55s

Professor Simon Wessely & Understanding NHS Spending

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to the Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London, Professor Sir Simon Wessely. Simon is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist with a focus on military health and unexplained symptoms and syndromes. In 2017, the then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, commissioned Simon to chair the review of the Mental Health Act based on his extensive knowledge and experience. In this conversation, they discussed Simon’s unique insight into the NHS, the process of reviewing mental health legislation, and his research on Gulf War veterans.

Building Mentally Healthy Workplaces w/ Georgie Mack & Dr Kate Duckworth

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to the CEO of Peopleful, Georgie Mack, and Head of Data, Analysis & Insight at Peopleful, Dr Kate Duckworth. MQ Mental Health Research has joined forces with Peopleful and the WorkWell Research Centre at North West University to conduct a cross-industry study of workplace dynamics across the UK and Ireland. The aim is to develop a framework that will help leaders to build more mentally healthy workplaces that deliver better outcomes for their people that – in turn – boosts their organisations’ performance. In this conversation, they discussed the Building Mentally Healthy Workplace report, how organizations can support their staff's mental health, and understanding the truth about burnout. You can learn more about Peopleful here: You can read the report here:
01/04/2442m 3s

Dr Chloe Paidoussis-Mitchell & Understanding Grief

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to counselling psychologist and author Dr Chloe Paidoussis Mitchell. Chloe is a highly experienced psychologist specialising in grief and trauma and how it relates to one’s mental health. Recently, she released her first book, The Loss Prescription, which aims to use research and science to help one process grief with the hope of embracing life again. In this conversation, they discussed grief and trauma’s effects on your mental health, the truth about the five stages of grief and finding the light after a loss. Learn more about Dr Chloe and her latest book here: Visit our website to learn more about mental health research:
19/03/2441m 59s

Dr. Martha Deiros Collado & Gaining Insight Into Your Child

Welcome to the first episode of Season 3 of MQ Open Mind! Join Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig as they delve into the fascinating world of child and young people’s mental health with special guest, clinical psychologist and author, Dr. Martha Deiros Collado. Dr. Martha, a seasoned psychologist with a wealth of experience in her field, gained widespread recognition during the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing her expertise on Instagram, where she amassed a following of over 250,000 individuals. Now, she has taken her insights a step further by releasing her first book, "How To Be The Grown Up," which offers evidence-based strategies to support parents in navigating the complexities of raising children. In this engaging conversation, Dr. Martha, Professor Rory, and Craig explore various topics, including potential enhancements to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the impact of social media on young people's mental well-being, and practical ways to gain a deeper understanding of your child's inner world. Tune in as they uncover valuable insights and practical tips to help you support the mental health and well-being of the young people in your life. Whether you're a parent, caregiver, educator, or simply interested in understanding more about the intricacies of child psychology, this episode is sure to provide you with valuable knowledge and actionable strategies.
05/03/2447m 11s

Andy Bell & How to Create a Mentally Healthier Nation

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to the CEO of the Centre for Mental Health, Andy Bell. The Centre for Mental Health is an organization UK charity that focuses on building mental health research to create fairer mental health policies. In September, over 30 mental health organisations, including MQ, joined together to call on all political parties to make a commitment to mental health in their election manifestos. The report, led by the Centre for Mental Health, made recommendations focused on prevention, equality and support. In this conversation, they discussed the Mentally Healthier Nation report, how mental health issues disproportionately affect certain communities, and how the government can effectively support the nation. You can learn more about the Centre for Mental Health here: You can read the report here:
28/11/2345m 18s

Dr Maxime Taquet & Why Some People Develop Brain Fog

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to MQ researcher and academic clinical fellow at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, Dr Maxime Taquet. Initially training to become an engineer, Maxime made the change to mental health research. Maxime’s current research is on the effects of COVID, specifically brain fog. In this conversation, they discussed the long-term effects of COVID on the brain, why certain people develop brain fog, and how to effectively use large datasets.
14/11/2336m 57s

Professor David Nutt & A New Approach to Treating Depression

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and the head of the Psychedelics Research Centre at Imperial College London, Professor David Nutt. David specialises in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety, and sleep. Currently, David is investigating if psychedelic drugs can be effective against treatment-resistant depression. In this conversation, they discussed the stigma around drugs, alternative treatments for mental health issues, and why openness is important in research and innovation.
31/10/2341m 42s

Prof Kathryn Abel & Improving CAMHS

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to PR professional and Mum of four, Hayley Peters, and professor of psychological medicine and psychiatrist at the University of Manchester, Professor Kathryn Abel. Hayley has first-hand experience navigating child and adolescent mental health services as a parent, whereas Kathryn’s current research is on improving CAMHS so that more young people can get the help they deserve. In this conversation, they discussed what CAMHS is, the problems young people have with accessing CAMHS, and how Kathryn’s latest research aims to improve the lives of countless children.
18/10/2355m 15s

Professor Louise Arseneault & Collaboration in Research

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to professor of developmental psychology at Kings College London, Louise Arseneault.   Louise’s research focuses on the study of harmful behaviours such as violence and substance dependence, their developmental origins, their inter-connections with mental health, and their consequences for victims. In this conversation, they discussed the importance of cross-collaboration, utilising health data, and how childhood bullying can affect you later on in life.
27/09/2348m 20s

What Do We Want Research to Answer

On the 5th of July, MQ launched the very first Research Appreciation Day. A day to celebrate the hard work of health researchers from all disciplines. For this special episode of Open Mind, and in honour of Research Appreciation Day, here are the questions that our guests would love to be answered by mental health research. Open Mind will return in the autumn, and we hope to see you again for more lived experience stories and more mental health research.
26/07/2315m 45s

Jenny Okolo & Empathy in the Criminal Justice Sector

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to Occupational Therapist, Jenny Okolo. Jenny is a highly experienced lead psychiatric occupational therapist and a respected mental health advocate. She has a strong background in the criminal justice sector. Her main expertise lies in promoting workplace wellbeing, supporting mental health, and advocating for neurodiversity. Jenny is also enthusiastic about productivity and utilizes her career platform, SASA, to provide accessible resources and inspire personal development. In this conversation, they discussed empathy in the criminal justice sector, understanding neurodiversity, and ensuring well-being in the workplace.
22/06/2337m 58s

Explaining our Gone Too Soon Roadmap

In this episode, we spoke to Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester, Tony Pisani, Head of Development at MQ, Emily Wheeler, and founder of Into The Light and suicide researcher, Benny Prawira, to discuss MQ’s latest paper, Gone Too Soon. The Gone Too Soon paper is a roadmap written by 40 global experts, mixing mental health researchers, clinicians, policy experts and people with lived and living experience of mental illnesses and suicide. Together these 40 global experts have outlined 18 evidence-based recommendations for policymakers, business leaders and health workers the world over. In this conversation, we discuss why the paper was created, the desired outcomes, and why these recommendations are so important.
07/06/2344m 3s

Dean Stott (DLC Anxiety) & Thriving with Anxiety

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to mental health activist and author, Dean Stott. After managing with an anxiety disorder for several years, Dean had the idea to start DLC Anxiety, an online community support group for people coping with anxiety. Since its inception in 2020, DLC Anxiety has amassed over 1.2 million members, providing helpful tips and advice from anxiety experts. In this conversation, they discussed supporting people with anxiety, the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder, and the benefits of using social media for your mental health.
16/05/2337m 30s

Dr Lucy Foulkes & the Truth About Mental Illness

In this episode, Professor Rory O'Connor and Craig spoke to academic psychologist and author, Dr Lucy Foulkes. Lucy is currently a Prudence Trust Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, investigating how school-based mental health interventions may be causing adolescents harm. In this conversation, they discussed supporting young people with their mental health, the importance of finding the appropriate treatment for your needs, and her book “What Mental Illness Really Is... (and what it isn’t)”. You can buy Lucy's book here: Here are two of the research papers they discussed: Visit our website to learn more about mental health research 
25/04/2344m 40s

James Gwinnett & Building Mental Resilience

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to endurance athlete and motivational speaker, James Gwinnett. After a bad neck injury playing rugby, James developed depression due to his inactivity, which eventually included alcoholism. Four years later, he found redemption in the form of fitness challenges, starting from running the London Marathon to taking part in Channel 4’s Special Forces training show SAS: Who Dares Wins. In this conversation, they discussed recovering from addiction, using sport to improve your mental health, and building mental resilience.
11/04/2342m 44s

Dr Ben Alderson-Day and the Feeling That Someone Is Behind You

In this episode, Professor Rory O’Connor and Craig spoke to associate professor in psychology at Durham University, Dr Ben Alderson-Day. Ben’s research is broadly focused on mental health and neurodiversity. His current research is about “felt presence”, the sensation that someone is present without any sensory cues. In this conversation, they discussed presence, the research behind hallucinations, and the fourth man phenomenon.
28/03/2346m 54s

Dr Anne Duffy & Protecting Student Mental Health

In this episode, we spoke to Professor of Psychiatry at Queen’s University Kingston, and Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford, Dr Anne Duffy. Anne has an extensive research background in understanding the development and early intervention of mental illness in young people. Her current research is focused on developing an international collaborative network of student mental health research called U-Flourish. In this conversation, they discussed understanding bipolar disorder, supporting students' mental health, and whether mental illnesses can be genetic.
14/03/2347m 6s

Tommy Lowther and Living With PTSD

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to Armed Forces veteran and CEO of Sporting Force, Tommy Lowther.   Tommy served with the British Army and subsequently with the Metropolitan Police. During both careers, he experienced several traumatic events, causing him to be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this conversation, they discussed the impact of trauma on mental health, using sports for rehabilitation, and understanding the importance of seeking help.  You can learn more about Sporting Force here If you have been affected by any of the themes we have spoken about in today's episode, you can reach out to Help for Heroes ( or Rape Crisis ( Details for both are in the show notes. You can also speak to the Samaritans ( anytime by calling 116-123.
06/12/2249m 41s

Flo Sharman and the Impact of Trauma on Mental Health

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to mental health campaigner and MQ ambassador Flo Sharman.  At four months old, Flo had a life-saving operation which caused her to stay in the hospital for several months. At age eight, Flo had a sudden mental breakdown that temporarily caused her to go blind and be paralysed. Only years later, she discovered that this breakdown was due to the trauma she experienced early on in life. In this fascinating conversation, they discussed the impact of trauma on mental health, finding the correct treatment that fits your needs, and how to support young people with mental illness.
22/11/2241m 16s

Dr Rona Strawbridge & Manveer Sahota and the Link Between Physical and Mental Health

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to Dr Rona Strawbridge, a medical genetics research fellow at the University of Glasgow, and Manveer Sahota, an expert by lived experience and research participatory. Rona joined the show on behalf of DATAMIND, a Health Data Research Hub and a global resource for Mental Health researchers. Recently, Rona and Manveer worked together on a study about the genetic link between mental illness and diabetes. In this fascinating conversation, they spoke about the significance of creating inclusive research, the challenges of capturing mental health data, and the correlations between physical and mental health.
08/11/2240m 24s

What Would You Want Mental Health Research to Answer? ft Gemma Styles, AJ & Curtis Pritchard and Linda Lusardi

This week we have dancers AJ & Curtis Pritchard, actress Linda Lusardi, and MQ ambassador and returning Open Mind guest Gemma Styles.  In this episode, we discuss what questions we would like mental health research to answer, the importance of finding suitable treatment, and finding strength through diagnosis.
25/10/2254m 19s

Prof Ann John and Utilising Mental Health Data

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Swansea University, Ann John. Ann is the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of DATAMIND, a Health Data Research Hub and a global resource for Mental Health researchers.  In this engaging conversation, they spoke about the importance of collaboration, the inequalities in support for those with a mental illness, and understanding how data is used in research. 
11/10/2242m 45s

Revisiting the ’Gone Too Soon’ Webinar

In honour of Suicide Prevention Awareness Month,  this week, we’re re-releasing our Gone Too Soon webinar as a podcast episode.  Hosted by MQ’s Bryony, the panel consisted of Professor Rory O’Connor, Dr Ruchika Gajwani, a clinical psychologist and MQ Fellow, and MQ ambassador Harry Corin. In this discussion, they spoke about the current state of treatments and interventions, the misconceptions about suicide and how research may prevent more people from being gone too soon. 
27/09/2258m 39s

Claire Eastham & Living With Panic Disorder

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to author and MQ ambassador Claire Eastham. Earlier this year, Claire released a book called ‘How I Learned to Live With Panic’, which explores anxiety and panic disorder whilst providing helpful knowledge on how to manage panic attacks. In this inspiring conversation, they spoke about the difficulties with getting a diagnosis, learning how to understand your condition and how to support someone with panic disorder.
13/09/2252m 31s

Nick Morgan and Protecting Youth Mental Health

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to Nick Morgan, the founder of the organization Euro Youth Mental Health, and activist and lived experience campaigner, Chryssi. Euro Youth Mental Health is a non-profit organization that advocates for children and young people’s mental health. In this discussion, they spoke about the importance of volunteering, using lived experience in research, and supporting young people's mental health. Learn more about Euro Youth Mental Health here: Visit to learn more about MQ and mental health research.
30/08/2247m 33s

Sophie Brigden & Supporting Military Mental Health

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to MQ's latest ambassador and PTSD campaigner, Sophie Brigden. In 2007, Sophie developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after encountering a series of traumatic events while serving on tour in the British Army.  In this discussion, they spoke about the misconceptions about PTSD, supporting the mental health of the military, and taking the time to understand yourself.   Visit to learn more about MQ and mental health research.
16/08/2251m 53s

Gemma Oaten and Living With an Eating Disorder

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to actress and eating disorder campaigner Gemma Oaten. Gemma is known for playing Rachel Breckle in the popular soap opera Emmerdale.    At age 10, Gemma discovered that she had an eating disorder, although due to a lack of clinical understanding, she continued to struggle for another 13 years. Now Gemma is the CEO of the charity SEED UK,  which aims to help those living with an eating disorder.   In this fascinating conversation, they spoke about the difficulties with getting a diagnosis, the severity of eating disorders and providing support for survivors.   Visit to learn more about MQ and mental health research.   If you, or someone you know, is affected by an eating disorder, then please reach out for advice and support from one of the following organisations:
02/08/2247m 32s

Lily Bailey and Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to mental health activist and author Lily Bailey. At age 16, Lily was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, although her first experiences with OCD occurred during childhood.  Recently, Lily released the children’s book, ‘When I See Blue’, about a young boy and his struggles with OCD. In this thorough conversation, they discussed the misconceptions about OCD, whether writing can be cathartic, and the potential future of OCD treatments.  Visit to learn more about MQ and mental health research.
19/07/2251m 36s

Azeem Rafiq and the Impact of Racism on Mental Health

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to MQ ambassador and cricket star, Azeem Rafiq. Azeem played cricket professionally in England for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. In 2020, Azeem shared his experiences of racism and bullying at Yorkshire, which became a major media story in the United Kingdom. In this riveting conversation, they spoke about racism in sport, having a winner’s mindset, and using religion to improve your mental health. Visit to learn more about MQ and mental health research.
05/07/2250m 53s

James Downs and Embracing Lived Experience in Research

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to MQ ambassador and yoga instructor, James Downs. James is a member of the Gone Too Soon steering group, helping to shape the direction of MQ's next funding programme as an expert by experience. In this episode, we spoke about the prevalence of eating disorders, the inclusion of people with lived experience in research, and improving your mental health through yoga. If you, or someone you know, is affected by an eating disorder, then please reach out for advice and support from one of the following organisations: 
21/06/2257m 55s

Amazin LeThi & Dr Jessica Schleider and Supporting LGBTQ+ Mental Health

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to athlete and LGBTQ+ advocate, Amazin LeThi, and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stonybrook University, Dr Jessica Schleider. In this episode, they spoke about supporting the mental health of the LGBTQ+ community, the importance of representation, and the impact of meaningful moments on your mental health.   Learn more here
07/06/2253m 7s

Leigh Timmis and Finding Your Purpose in Life

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to speaker and Guinness world record holder, Leigh Timmis. They spoke about self-improvement, finding your purpose, and breaking records.
24/05/2256m 34s

Dr Alexandra Pitman and Identifying Loneliness

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to Associate Professor in Psychiatry at UCL and Consultant Psychiatrist at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Alexandra Pitman. They spoke about loneliness, the importance of inclusive research, and enjoying solitude. Links to the topics mentioned in the episode: - - - - - 
13/05/2245m 20s

Gemma Styles and the Importance of Doing Good

In this episode, Professor Rory and Craig spoke to podcaster and journalist, Gemma Styles, to discuss doing good, the impact of social media on mental health, and raising money with sunglasses.
10/05/2254m 29s

MQ Open Mind is back!

Join Professor Rory O'Connor and MQ's Craig Perryman in this rebooted version of the MQ Open Mind podcast! In today's episode, they discuss who they are and why they got into mental health research. 
09/05/2222m 56s

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.
15/01/2034m 30s

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. 
29/07/1933m 11s

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.
14/06/1937m 8s

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. 
18/02/1935m 22s

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.
05/09/1843m 51s

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. 
27/02/1835m 51s

Ep 6: How does PTSD affect firefighters? And what can we do to stop it?

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.
12/02/1824m 42s

Ep 5: Can magic mushrooms treat depression?

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".  
20/11/1731m 23s

Ep 4: A new way of thinking about OCD

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'. 
17/10/1734m 23s

Ep 3: The reality of life with social anxiety and the app that could help

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: Read Claire's blog:
14/08/1722m 27s

Ep 2: Could an algorithm end the trial-and-error approach to mental health treatment?

Getting the right mental health treatment for you is often a game of trial and error – if one treatment doesn’t work, you’ll try another, and another, and another… People can wait months, sometimes even years, before they’re given a treatment that’s the right fit. It’s something that Mark Brown, mental health advocate and blogger, knows only too well. After he was diagnosed with bipolar II he struggled to find the right combination of medication and therapy that worked for him – leaving him waiting years without the right help. We speak to Mark Brown about his experience and the researcher who’s aiming to transform how we select treatments – MQ-funded researcher Zach Cohen. Zach and his colleagues are creating and testing an algorithm which aims to predict which treatment option is right for a particular person. If this works – doctors could have the tools to be able to select the right mental health treatment for a patient first time. 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:  
14/08/1727m 33s

Ep 1: Could problems with our immune system cause depression?

1 in 4 people experience mental illness at some point each year and depression now affects a staggering 350 million people worldwide. Understanding the causes of depression is crucial if we’re to find ways of treating it effectively. And more and more research is suggesting that we look beyond our brains and into the immune system to find answers. We speak to Carmine Pariante, Professor of Biological Psychiatry at Kings College London, who’s been piecing together evidence on the role of our immune system in depression for 20 years.  He explains why this research is considered by scientists to be "one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the last 20 years", how it could revolutionise treatments and diagnosis and exactly why we think the immune system is causing changes in mood. 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:
14/08/1725m 28s
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