S1 E5: Loneliness & Connection

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Have you ever felt lonely? Are you lonely now? French writer, Honoré de Balzac wrote that “solitude is fine but sometimes you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.” Ain’t that the truth! In this episode, we investigate what causes loneliness and how it is different from solitude. And where does our drive to connect come from? How and why do we connect, with words or without them? Though it can feel like it sometimes, you’re not alone. We promise!

Dr Michelle Lim is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology and leads the Social Health and Wellbeing Laboratory at Swinburne University of Technology. She is also the Chief Scientific Advisor for Ending Loneliness Together, and the co-director of the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection. Dr Lim’s work is focused on how loneliness can negatively impact social functioning and exacerbate mental health symptoms such as social anxiety, depression, and paranoia.

Alise Blayney is a poet, writer, artist, editor and peer educator who has worked in mental health services since 2013. She holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and enjoys alchemising her creativity and lived experience in mental health education. You can find her book of poetry Grief for Hire on Verity LA.

Ben Frater was a unique surrealist Australian poet who saw poetry as both confession and exorcism, drawing on his lived experience of the schizophrenic vernacular. His legend and legacy live on with the creative writing project Clozapine Clinic — The Frater Project. You can find his book of poetry 6am in the Universe on Grand Parade Poets.

Tim Heffernan is an experienced consumer peer worker and is the Mental Health Peer Coordinator at COORDINARE, South Eastern NSW PHN. Tim has been a member of the Commission’s Community Advisory Council since its establishment in 2014, and a past chair of Being (NSW Consumer Advisory Group) and the NSW Public Mental Health Consumer Workers Committee. He is the Deputy co-chair for the National Mental Health Commission’s Peer Workforce Development Guidelines Steering Committee.

This podcast includes discussion around topics such as depression, stigma and suicide. We acknowledge that this content may be difficult. We also encourage you to care for your safety and well-being.

You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or access the Suicide Callback Service on www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au or 1300 659 467

Season 2

In Season 2, over 13 episodes, we'll more closely explore topics from the perspective of those with lived experience. We'd love you to join us for these fascinating insights into the wide variety of mental challenges, so that we can learn more about ourselves and those around us.

Hugs! Chris, Leon and Hannah





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