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Podcast - Piece of Mind

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Piece of Mind is a collaboration with the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) to discuss the latest research around mental health.

During each episode, our host, Bozo Lugonja, will be joined by a researcher or clinician to talk about the science behind psychiatry, as well as somebody with lived experience of a mental health problem to bring a real-life perspective.

By combining people's personal experiences of mental health with an overview of the latest research in the field, Piece of Mind aims to help tackle stigma and encourage more people to get involved in research.

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Listen to our latest episodes and subscribe on iTunes or Soundcloud.

Ep8: Finding and losing schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a contentious diagnosis and source of often heated debate across the various professions and stakeholders associated with mental health. Some argue that it has outlasted its usefulness as a single diagnosis and should instead be viewed as the extreme end of a 'psychosis spectrum disorder'.


To unpick the issues, we're delighted to be joined by award-winning author Nathan Filer, who is in conversation with Professor James Walters, deputy director at NCMH to discuss his latest book - The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia.


This episode was recorded live at Bigmoose Coffee Co. in Cardiff. They're a fantastic bunch and do great work in the community, so if you're in town make sure you pop in for a coffee and try some of their amazing cakes.


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info or on social media:

Episode 7: Autism

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Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, and while it is usually diagnosed in childhood, some autistic people grow up without their condition being recognised until later in life.


In this episode, we’re joined by Kat Williams, who was diagnosed as autistic when she was 32. In this episode she shares her experience of growing up without a diagnosis and parenting an autistic child, and discusses the impact of labels like ‘high functioning’.


She’s joined by Professor Jeremy Hall, Director of Cardiff University’s Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute. He discusses some of the latest research into autism and how autistic people are more likely to experience mental health problems like depression and anxiety.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit http://www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcasts/podcast/autism/


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Minisode: Clozapine, neutropenia and treatment-resistant schizophrenia

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We’re delighted to be joined by Dr Sophie Legge and Dr Antonio Pardiñas for our latest minisode to discuss their latest research study.


Sophie, Antonio and colleagues at Cardiff University’s MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics examined genetic data from more than 500 people of African descent taking clozapine, an anti-psychotic medication prescribed to people with treatment resistant schizophrenia.


Clozapine is currently the most effective treatment for people with treatment-resistant schizophrenia, but it can cause a rare side effect called neutropenia. In the most extreme cases, this can develop into agranulocytosis; a severe and potentially life-threatening condition.


These side-effects are characterised by lower neutrophil levels, a type of white blood cell, and these lower levels appear to be more common in people of African descent. The team were interested in learning whether genetic factors were at play, and in this minisode Sophie and Antonio explain what they found and how their results could help improve the management of clozapine treatment.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit https://www.ncmh.info/podcast


We hope you enjoy and we would be really grateful if you could leave us a review and help others find our podcast! If you've got any questions about this episode, get in touch at info@ncmh.info.

Ep6: 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome

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22q11.2 deletion syndrome, or 22q for short, is a genetic syndrome affecting between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 4000 people.


There are a wide range of health issues associated with the syndrome, such as heart conditions and immune problems, palatal defects and speech delays. It can also cause developmental problems and learning disabilities, and increased risk of a range of mental health problems, including schizophrenia, ADHD and depression.


To tell us more about 22q, we're joined by Professor Marianne van den Bree, a Principal Investigator at Cardiff University's MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.We also get a parent perspective from Katie and Jon, whose daughter Ivy was diagnosed with 22q last year.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcast…deletion-syndrome/


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Ep 5: Sleep, Insomnia And Mental Health

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Getting enough sleep is important for your health and happiness. Generally, if you sleep better you feel better. On the other hand, poor sleep can make you feel low and have a negative impact on your mood. But does poor sleep increase your chances of experiencing a mental health problem or is it a symptom?


In this episode we’re joined by Dr Ajay Thapar, a GP who recently travelled to the USA on a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship to learn more about insomnia and different treatments, and Dr Katie Lewis, whose work investigates the relationship between sleep disruption and mood disorders like bipolar and depression.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcast…st/sleep-insomnia/


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Ep 4: Self-harm

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The UK has the highest self-harm rate of any country in Europe, and it remains an issue people struggle to handle, talk about, and understand.

In this episode we discuss personal experiences of self-harm and coping techniques, the latest research in the field and misunderstanding and stigma can stop people who self-harm from seeking help.


We're joined by Swansea University's Professor Ann John, whose main research interest is self-harm, suicide and public health. Ann also chairs the National Advisory Group to Welsh Government on Suicide and Self harm prevention.


Our second guest is Si, co-founder of Heads Above the Waves, a not-for-profit organisation that works with young people to promote positive, creative ways of dealing with bad days.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcast…/podcast/self-harm


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Minisode: Women In Science

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It's International Women's Day, and to mark the event we are celebrating women in science. In this minisode, our guest host Catrin Hopkins, is joined by three scientists - Dr Adele Pryce-Roberts, Jasmine Donaldson and Rachel Pass.


Adele is an Alzheimer's UK Clinical Research Fellow at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, where Jasmine is doing her PhD in the area of Huntington's disease.


Rachel is also a PhD student, based at Cardiff University's Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute, where she is investigating copy number variants and schizophrenia.


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Ep 3: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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ADHD remains one of the most stigmatised mental health problems. In this episode, we're speaking to Zoe Piper, founder of ADHD Connections, about her experiences.


We're also joined by Professor Anita Thapar CBE, Director of the neurodevelopmental disorders research at Cardiff University's MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, to discuss the latest research in this area.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcasts/podcast/adhd/


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Ep 2: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

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In this episode, Bozo is joined by RAF veteran Darren and Dr Neil Kitchiner, Director and Clinical Consultant Lead of Veterans NHS Wales to talk PTSD.


Darren shares his personal experience of PTSD following his time in the Royal Air Force, and Neil talks about different treatments available. We also discuss some of the pioneering research taking place at NCMH and Cardiff University, including 3MDR.


We'd like to apologise for the occasional sound of static interference on this recording.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcasts/podcast/ptsd/


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info

Ep 1: Postnatal depression

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Our host Bozo Lugonja is joined by the founder of My Discombobulated Brain, Laura Dernie, and NCMH Director Professor Ian Jones to talk about postnatal depression.


Laura shares her personal experience of postnatal depression and Ian speaks about current research into better understanding and treating postnatal depression. We finish on a look to the future - how can we reduce stigma around postnatal depression and encourage more women to ask for help?


Special thanks to Dr Tony O'Shaughnessy at Cardiff University's School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies for helping us to produce this podcast.


For links and resources mentioned in this episode, visit http://www.ncmh.info/videos-and-podcasts/podcast/postnatal-depression/


We hope you enjoy, and if you have any feedback please get in touch at info@ncmh.info