New Series: Understanding Mental Health: conditions, caring, and contexts

We’re delighted to announce that the next set of History of Psychiatry podcasts begins next Tuesday, March 13.  Series 3, entitled  ‘Understanding Mental Health: conditions, caring, and contexts’, is in a slightly different format from previous series – here, Rab outlines the new series and the thinking behind it.

The idea behind Series 3 is to discuss aspects of mental health that are prominent in the public imagination, but which may not always be fully understood and may sometimes be misunderstood.

I am particularly interested in the cusp between public perceptions and professional experience and practice. The twenty or so half-hour podcasts I have planned will be structured as a discussion between myself – an historian who has worked on mental health and healthcare, and is curious about science, welfare, and service provision in the present – and an expert researcher and/or medical professional. Most of the talking will be done by the interviewees and the focus will be firmly on the present (and future), but informed by comparisons with the past, which I shall use to introduce each interview.

The tone of the interviews is one of constructive dialogue, whose purpose is to inform and engage those who already listen to my podcasts, including medical professionals, sufferers from mental disorders, their families, and anyone who cares about mental health in the past and present.

All the podcast series are part of a much larger continuing project called ‘Promoting Mental Health through the Lessons of History’.  The project also includes an exhibition, ‘Face to Face: Stories from the Asylum‘, which will shortly launch at the University of Dundee.

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