It is fitting that during October, which in South Africa is Mental Health Awareness Month, the Beyond Madness podcast releases the third season of 15 podcast episodes which explore topics rarely spoken about in such detail in open forums. Hosted by Prof Christopher Paul Szabo, another 15 new weekly episodes will be released on the day following WHO’s Mental Health Awareness Day, commencing on Tuesday, 11 October 2022.
The impact of this important mental health podcast series was re-enforced when, along with partners Adcock Ingram OTC Sponsors of Brave, Beyond Madness was recently announced as a finalist in the New Gen Awards 2022. An impressive accolade for a podcast series which aired the first of 15 weekly podcast episodes on CliffCentral in October 2021, followed by an even more well-received second series which began airing in May 2022. In addition, CliffCentral included Beyond Madness in their series of interpreted content during International Deaf Awareness Month, when a sign language interpreted video was adapted from the episode examining the psychology of serial killers.
Until as recently as a decade ago, mental health issues and psychiatry were taboo subjects that were rarely discussed openly on public platforms. The introduction of forums such as the Beyond Madness podcasts on CliffCentral have underpinned the urgent need for meaningful understanding surrounding mental health issues. It is not a stretch of the imagination to say that removing the shameful stigma on these subjects can and does save lives, or at very least bring about a level of awareness which did not exist before despite Mental Health Awareness Month being established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans’ lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness.
It is vital to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people suffering from mental illnesses frequently face. However, it is important to establish a better understanding of where ‘madness’ and ‘mental illness’ intersect. The word ‘madness’ in and of itself conjures up images of mental institutions where people who are beyond help are sent to see out their days. This is not an accurate depiction. Beyond Madness will take you behind the scenes through the voices of selected individuals, and while their work may appear to have specific relevance to psychiatry, each issue raised will eventually be understood to have broader societal implications.
Professor Szabo shares insights on his motivation: “The previous episodes of Beyond Madness -30 in total thus far – have proven successful, inspiring us to forge ahead in our quest to raise awareness and understanding about the discipline of psychiatry.”
Beyond Madness Podcast – forthcoming episodes:
1. Abortion and psychological consequences
2. Religion and psychiatry
3. What’s the fuss about serotonin?
4. Body image and aesthetic surgery
5. Victims and perpetrators – the emotional toll of parole
6. Mindfulness and mental health
7. Traditional healers and psychiatry
8. Animals, healing and comfort
9. Does the gut control the mind?
10. Corporate mental health
11. Compassion and care fatigue – when healers struggle
12. Palliative care and dying
13. Self – help and psychiatry
14. Gender dysphoria
15. Therapy – when is enough?
Beyond Madness is available on http://cliffcentral.com/podcasts/beyond-madness/