Let's Talk podcast
When we are struggling with our mental health, we will often think that no one else is feeling the same thing. 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 bringing together different members of the University community to have honest and thought-provoking conversations about mental health. Each episode is hosted by our Chaplain, Harriet Harris, and features discussions between students and staff talking about a range of mental health topics, from loneliness and depression to imposter syndrome and a fear of failure.
These are serious topics with lots of space to grow understanding - and with lots of laughter along the way too!
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.
- Breathing Space: 0800 83 85 87
- The Samaritans: 08457 90 90 90
- Edinburgh Crisis Centre: 0808 801 0414
Episode 1 - Anxiety, depression and ‘leaning in’
Joining Harriet for the first episode is 3rd year Zoology undergraduate, Rosie Taylor, and Assistant Principal and Professor of Engineering, Alan Murray.
In this episode, Rosie and Alan discuss anxiety, depression and how leaning in to what you are feeling, learning self-acceptance, and forgiving the past are wise and generous ways of responding to what you are going through.
Episode 4 - Fear of failure, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, and living life in each moment
In this episode, 3rd year undergraduate Stephanie McNair, and Assistant Principal and Professor of Engineering, Alan Murray discuss imposter syndrome - a common feeling that affects many people at various times of their lives.
Stephanie and Alan talk about the tyranny of perfectionism, fearing that we will fail or have failed, and the feeling that we are not good enough.
Episode 2 - Loneliness, isolation, and the courage to make friends
Two undergraduates, Rosie Taylor and Stephanie McNair, discuss the feeling of loneliness in the second episode of the series.
Rosie and Stephanie share their experiences of starting university, or returning after taking a year out, the pros and cons of social media, and of how smartphones can be both social aids and social barriers.
Episode 5 - Suicidality and finding life again
In this episode, Harriet is joined by 3rd year Medical School undergraduate, Heather McAdam to talk about the mental pain that can lead someone to try to end their life. Heather and Harriet discuss 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.
Episode 3 - Grief, loss and appreciation
In this episode, 3rd year biology undergraduate Isobel Cordre joins Harriet to discuss grief and loss.
Isobel talks about her own experiences after finding out her closest childhood friend had died. The episode explores 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.
Episode 6 - Stress, burn out and recovery
Harriet is joined by James Saville, Director of HR. James talks about his own experiences of stress and burn out, and from the perspective of someone in a postion who 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 and Harriet discuss journeys into and out of burn-out, recognising signs and triggers, and noticing and receiving the support of those around you.