March: New student mental health podcast | News and features

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A new mental health podcast for students features real life stories, insightful guests and practical advice from experts.

Your Amazing Mind is produced by the University of Bristol and aims to give students the tools they need to feel better more often.

Each episode sees a student talk movingly about their experiences dealing with a particular issue, such as depression or body image.

That topic is then discussed by the student, a special guest and podcast host Michael Pearson, who is deputy head of Bristol University’s counselling service.

The podcast’s first episode on Monday April  5, features Miz Cracker, well-known from RuPaul’s Drag Race, who will discuss anxiety with Michael and a student called Brian.

Miz dispenses tips on how she deals with her own anxiety: “Don’t punish yourself for not winning over your anxiety, not handling it right or not using all the tools in your kit correctly.

“Just be like: we got dealt a blow today and that’s alright. It’s a battle that’s part of a larger war, so don’t take every defeat so seriously.

“I remember in the sexual education that I received in sixth grade in public school. They said ‘you are going to get acne and might have some emotional difficulties from like 13 to 18.’ And so I went from 13 to 18 with terrible acne and horrible anxiety and I was waiting for 18 to come for it be over.

“Well, now I’m anxious and I’m still using skin medication and I’m 36 – so I was lied to and I’m furious!”

Your Amazing Mind is available on all podcast platforms weekly from Monday. The first episode will also feature Brian, a University of Bristol student who suffered from debilitating anxiety.

“It was getting kind of desperate,” he tells listeners. “I didn’t know what was wrong, but I just felt I couldn’t cope any more. It manifested, in the end, through me just becoming somebody else – I didn’t even recognise myself.

“I started getting keen on writing poetry. So I wrote a poem basically saying I wasn’t on my own – even though I live on my own – because I had demons for company.

“I showed this to my best friend and she said ‘you need help’. I thought: ‘Okay I do’.

“But it possibly took a year for that to happen. So it was a long process, because accepting you’ve got a problem is difficult.”

A recent poll found that 70% of British students felt their mental health had suffered during the pandemic.

Over the past few years the University of Bristol has transformed its wellbeing services, increasing the size of its teams and adding dozens of new resources for students.

Podcast host Michael, said: “This is one of the only podcasts in the UK to give students a platform to talk about their own experience of mental health issues. With the help of a different specialist each week, the podcast gives advice to students, young people and adults experiencing similar issues.

“Your Amazing Mind will explore anxiety, body image, LGBTQ+ issues, marginalisation, bereavement and depression in a deep, relatable and honest way that normalises experiences and gives people lift at the same time.”

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