E13: Uncomfortable Terrain
Sex Sexual Health Stigma & self stigma Suicide
How comfortable are you in talking about sex and suicide? No matter what, we each have a close relationship with and strong opinions about sex and suicide. Talking candidly about them can be difficult – with each they can fill us with unease, bring up distressing memories, force us to sit with uncertainty and with fear.
Stella Anna Sonnenbaum MPH CSSE is a Somatic Sexologist and Certified Somatic Sex Educator with a busy practice in Central London, UK, and on Zoom. Originally a licensed pharmacist from Berlin, she initially took up Tantra training over 15 years ago when seeking help and advice about how to create more intimacy in the sexless relationship she was in.
She founded her company, Stella with Love, in 2014, with the aim of helping couples and individuals to find more intimacy with each other, and added her certifications in 2015 and 2016 to gain professional expertise in helping clients address and overcome sexual issues, in person, and online. She feels she has found her love and vocation, and gives workshops, lectures and presentations in order to make this very effective body-based approach better known, and to enable people to find more love and pleasure in their lives and relationships.
Following Stella’s interview, Caz speaks sex with Club Mind participants, Steffi and Dave about all things intimacy and sex.
Lastly, we hear the first episode of Leon’s new podcast, The Suicide Chronicles.
E12: Madness and History
History Medicine Mental Health Psychiatry
For most of human history, mental illness has been largely untreatable. Sufferers lived their lives – if they survived – in and out of asylums, accumulating life’s wreckage around them.
In 1948, all that changed when an Australian doctor and recently returned prisoner of war, working alone in a disused kitchen, set about an experimental treatment for one of the scourges of mankind – manic depression, or bipolar disorder. That doctor was John Cade and in that small kitchen he stirred up a miracle.
John Cade discovered a treatment that has become the gold standard for bipolar disorder – lithium. It has stopped more people from committing suicide than a thousand help lines.
Lithium is the penicillin story of mental health – the first effective medication discovered for the treatment of a mental illness – and it is, without doubt, Australia’s greatest mental health story.
E11: Reframing suicide
Recovery Stigma & self stigma Suicide
Many people across Australia and the world are afraid to talk about suicide. A common misconception is that talking about it will encourage and lead to suicide.
In episode 11 of It’s A Mind Field!, we start the conversation about suicide and some of the myths around it. We take a first-hand look at the factors that drive suicidal thinking and behaviour and reveal the powerful effect that holding space for someone going through this can have.
E10: Sink or swim: sports, mental health & overcoming trauma
Sport, fitness and exercise Stress & Anxiety Trauma
Australia is a country that lives for sport; in the 2021 lockdown, millions of people were glued to the Olympics in Tokyo and football grand finals. But what about the mental health of athletes when they’re off the field? Renowned sports psychiatrist Dr Ranjit Menon joins It’s A Mind Field! to discuss the mental health of high-performance athletes.
On December 14 2012, the world watched in horror as a deadly school shooting unfolded at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in the United States. It was the deadliest mass shooting at an elementary school in US History. Darren Wagner has extensive experience working with mass trauma after supporting his community of Sandy Hook through a school shooting and joins It’s a Mind Field! to discuss post-traumatic growth.
E9: Indigenous Voices
Indigenous Sport, fitness and exercise Suicide
Episode Nine of It’s A Mind Field! explores Aboriginal mental health and suicide. Research shows that Indigenous people in Australia are twice as likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous Australians. The suicide rate of Indigenous Australian children is amongst the highest in the world and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged between 15 and 24 are almost four times more likely to commit suicide than non-Indigenous people of the same age.
In today’s episode, we hear the voices of Aboriginal Australians talking about mental health.
E8: Mental Health in the Workplace
Bullying Career Education Fatigue Harassment Mental Health Safety Stress & Anxiety Trauma Workplace
Given how much time is spent at work, it’s not surprising that work and mental health are inextricably linked.
In today’s episode, we’re taking a close look at work and mental health from two very different angles.
Drugs Grief Harm reduction Stigma & self stigma
Drugs destroy lives. . . or do they? Everyone has an opinion about drugs, and usually a robust one.
For some people living with mental health issues, the impacts of drug use can be devastating and even fatal. However, for some, intoxication can also be a source of joy, inspiration, and self-knowledge. What do you reckon? This episode features two of Australia’s most prominent and influential voices around all things related to drugs, and their opinions might not be the ones you expect.
E6: Sex and Death: Tender Conversations
Ageing Dementia Recovery Sex Sex Work Suicide
In today’s episode, we examine some of the things we hold near to our hearts but might be afraid to talk about. We talk openly about suicide from those with personal experience and what the research says. This is a story of hope, not despair.
We then have an interview we hope you’ll love as much as we do!
We interview a sex worker who specialises in working with clients who have dementia, living within aged care facilities. Though eye-opening, this is a story of tenderness, not titillation.
E5: Loneliness & Connection
Connection Loneliness &/or isolation Writing & poetry
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!
E4: Religion, Spirit and Pride
Atheism Homophobia LGBTI+ Sport, fitness and exercise Suicide
Is there a connection between religious involvement and mental health? Hell yeah! Though it is a long and complex relationship indeed. For some, religion and sport has been a source of deep joy and connection, whereas for others it has been an irritant. Of course, there are many shades in between. Funnily enough, the exact same thing could be said about sport. What do you reckon?