Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

BC Schizophrenia Society

"Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” is a groundbreaking new podcast brought to you by the BC Schizophrenia Society and supporting partners. The podcast brings forward the humanity of mental illness while dispelling the myths by sharing the voices of medical experts, family members, and people with lived experience with mental illness.

Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of BCSS, speaks with medical experts, families, and people with lived experience of mental illness to dispel myths and get to the truth. Be prepared for frank conversations, up-to-date medical information, immersive sound design, and stories of hope and resilience. This podcast is for anyone whose life has been touched by mental illness. In other words, it’s for everyone.

Introducing Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined
Trailer 1 min 23 sec

All Episodes

Researchers have estimated that about 80 percent of the risk for developing Schizophrenia is hereditary and yet that doesn't mean people with that genetic component in their family history will actually develop the disorder. Sometimes Schizophrenia risk increases through a random mutation that is not passed from parent to child. In this episode, we'll be looking at the role genetics plays in the development and onset of Schizophrenia. Is it all about your genes? Or are there other potential risks that can trigger it? To help answer some of these questions we'll be talking to two people — Dr. Robert Stowe, a behavioural neurologist in the UBC Neuropsychiatry Program and a member of the Genetic Testing Task Force of the International Society for Psychiatry Genetics; and Courtney Cook, who works as a genetics counsellor on UBC's MAGERS project. Resources for show notes: Dr. Robert Stowe: https://www.centreforbrainhealth.ca/stowe-robert https://www.bcchr.ca/bstowe https://psychiatry.ubc.ca/person/robert-stowe/ https://www.vchri.ca/researchers/robert-stowe Metabolic and Genetic Explorations in Refractory Schizophrenia (MAGERS) Project (2021) https://med-fom-psychiatry.sites.olt.ubc.ca/files/2021/05/Stowe-Metabolic-and-Genetic-Explorations-in-Refractory-Schizophrenia-Project.pdf Genetic Counselling at Adapt Clinic http://www.bcmhsus.ca/our-services/genetic-counselling-(the-adapt-clinic) GenCOUNSEL: Genetic Counsellors and Geneticists https://www.bcchr.ca/GenCOUNSEL/our-team/genetic-counsellors-and-geneticists See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 24

24 min 9 sec

Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the symptoms of schizophrenia. In particular, the cognitive losses that can be associated with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Anosognosia is a medical term meaning 'to not know a disease.' This occurs for people with brain injuries as well as mental illness, and means someone is literally unaware of their own mental health condition or they can't see it accurately. This lack of insight is not a rejection of a diagnosis or denial because they don’t want to face the facts, but an honest inability to consciously to see and understand that their behaviours and experiences are indicators of something wrong. While it's a common symptom, it's also one of the more difficult aspects to understand for those who have never experienced it. What causes anosognosia? How do people put their hands up and ask for help if they can't see it? What are the cognitive losses associated with schizophrenia and what can people do about them? These are some of the questions we'll be tackling on this episode with Dr. Mahesh Menon, a clinical psychologist with Vancouver Coastal Health, and based at the BC Psychosis Program and the Mood Disorders Program at UBC Hospital. Additional Resources Mahesh MenonBio (https://psychiatry.ubc.ca/person/mahesh-menon/) Anosognosia(https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Common-with-Mental-Illness/Anosognosia) Eliminating Barriers to the Treatment of Mental Illness (https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/key-issues/anosognosia) Lack of Insight Into One's Mental Illness or Anosognosia (https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/recovery-road/202108/lack-insight-ones-mental-illness-or-anosognosia) Cognitive Remediation Programs in BC(https://www.bcss.org/bringing-cognitive-remediation-to-british-columbia/) “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” – book by Dr. Xavier Amador(https://www.amazon.ca/Not-Sick-Dont-Need-Help-dp-0985206705/dp/0985206705) “I’m Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help” – TedTalk by Dr. Xavier Amador(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXxytf6kfPM) Cognitive Losses in Schizophrenia (https://livingwithschizophreniauk.org/cognitive-symptoms-schizophrenia/) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Nov 10

26 min 3 sec

Mental illness touches everyone's lives, whether we want to admit it or not. And yet, mental illnesses like schizophrenia are rarely discussed publicly. That lack of conversation is what our guest is hoping to change. Meet Michelle Hammer, a mental health advocate, entrepreneur and graphic designer. She challenges the idea that schizophrenia should be hidden and hush-hush with bold eye-catching designs. Michelle shares her personal journey around mental illness, what it looks like to let everyone know you have schizophrenia and how she started her Schizophrenic.NYC to start conversations about mental illnesses. No topic is off-limits for this native New Yorker. Schizophrenic.NYC:https://www.schizophrenic.nyc Instagram: @schizophrenic.nyc YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR5_ez7c5rhC6mIpcs6tAWg Twitter: @SchizophrenicNY --- MORE on the important distinction between identity-first vs. person-first language Language Matters: Mental Health Commission of Canada (2020) https://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/wp-content/uploads/drupal/2020-08/language_matters_cheat_sheet_eng.pdf Saying ‘person with schizophrenia,’ not ‘schizophrenic,’ can affect clinician beliefs, study finds https://www.statnews.com/2021/09/22/person-first-language-schizophrenia-study/ See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 27

22 min 13 sec

Brought to you by the BC Schizophrenia Society and supporting BC Partner organizations, "Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” returns for a second season this fall beginning October 27. This time the podcast goes deeper with the subjects we tackle, the guests we talk to and the research we dive into — we're pushing you to really look at what it's like to live with mental illness. Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of BCSS, will speak with medical experts, family members, and people with lived experiences of mental illness. Not only will there be focus on the personal, but the clinical and the cutting-edge research. It's real conversations with real people — breaking down stereotypes on how mental illness is viewed, researched, and treated. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Oct 7

1 min 21 sec

It's not easy to live with a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia, and the future sometimes seems daunting and hopeless. But many people living with serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, are able to lead full and rewarding lives. It may not be what one imagined, but then life never is. In this episode, host Faydra Aldridge speaks with Erin Emiru, a scientist and young mother who has Schizophrenia, about what’s it like to live with this disorder that may be “incurable” -- but definitely treatable. There are many journeys through mental illness, and there is so much cause for hope. Today on Look Again -- hope is what it’s all about.  Erin Hawkes Emiru Bio When Quietness Came, a Neuroscientist's Personal Journey with Schizophrenia When Neurons Tell Stories A Layman's Guide to the Neuroscience of Mental Illness and Health Courage to Come Back Awards - List of 2019 Award Recipients See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jul 7

19 min 54 sec

Serious question: Why is it that when people show signs of serious mental illness or psychosis -- calling the police for help is often viewed as a "last resort" by families and loved ones? Historically, when law enforcement and mental illness intersect, the results have been patchy. But Sgt. Cara Thomson of Surrey RCMP's Police Mental Health Outreach team wants to change that. Her unit handles police-related mental health and addiction calls for service and staffs the Car 67 program, where a registered Psychiatric Nurse rides with a police officer, attending mental health calls.  Sgt. Thomson joins host Faydra Aldridge for a candid conversation about mental health, violence, and law enforcement.  Additional Resources Combining Police with Nurses for Mental Health Calls Isn't BC's First Came in 1978  Breaking the Cycle of Crisis: The role of police in crisis intervention (Visions Journal, 2017, Vol 12(4)) Building Connections with Police Mental Health Resources See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 23

18 min

It's a hard reality that mental illness and substance use often coincide. Combine these factors with poverty and social marginalization, and you have the snowballing problem known as "concurrent disorders." Dr. Bill MacEwan has spent the last 20+ years working with patients in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, a neighbourhood that is home to around 20,000 people with almost 25% of the people suffering from mental illness. He's also the medical lead for the city's Downtown Community Court psychiatric teams.  Host Faydra Aldridge speaks with Dr. MacEwan about the intersection of mental illness, drugs, and the criminal justice system. Additional Resources:  Dr. Bill MacEwan Bio Mental illness and significant cognitive impairment among marginalized adults in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Profound suffering at the heart of our beautiful city seems to defy all attempts to relieve it The Hotel Study: Multimorbidity in a Community Sample Living in Marginal Housing Building Community Society - for more details about next steps Visions Journal: Concurrent Disorders (2004, Vol 2 (1)) Homelessness, Mental Health and Substance Use: Understanding the Connections (Canadian Institute of Substance Use Research) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Jun 9

15 min 54 sec

On this episode of Look Again we’re asking: what’s at the root of the hesitation around using medication to treat mental illness? How do the medications actually work on the brain? And what other treatments work in combination with medications? Host Faydra Aldridge speaks with Dr. Fidel Vila-Rodriguez from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. Additional Resources:  Non-Invasive Neurostimulation Therapies (NINET) Laboratory (UBC Department of Psychiatry) Safety, tolerability, and risks associated with first- and second-generation antipsychotics: a state-of-the-art clinical review Electroconvulsive Therapy: A History of Controversy, but Also of Help What is Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)? [Centre for Addiction and Mental Health]  Medications and Complementary Treatments [BC Schizophrenia Society] See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 26

23 min 26 sec

Right now, there's an idea that cannabis is a harmless drug and some people say they use it to help their mental health. But for those predisposed to serious mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia, science tells us it’s not that cut and dry. Host Faydra Aldridge of BCSS, along with her guest Dr. Nick Mathew, a practising addiction and forensic psychiatrist, look at how society grapples with cannabis use in a time of greater legalization; and how cannabis can be both helpful and dangerous to people with mental illness.  Resources:  Cannabis use in first episode psychosis: what we have tried and why it hasn’t worked (BMC Medicine)  Cannabis, Schizophrenia, and Psychosis (BC Schizophrenia Society)  Cannabinoids for the treatment of mental disorders and symptoms of mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis (The Lancet) A Review of Human Studies Assessing Cannabidiol's (CBD) Therapeutic Actions and Potential (The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology) Impact of adolescent marijuana use on intelligence: Results from two longitudinal twin studies (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) Rates and Predictors of Conversion to Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Following Substance-Induced Psychosis (American Journal of Psychiatry) Daily Use, Especially of High-Potency Cannabis Drives Earlier Onset of Psychosis (Schizophrenia Bulletin) Cannabis and Psychosis: A Critical Overview of the Relationship (Current Psychiatry Reports) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

May 12

22 min 1 sec

In this special episode, learn about the alarming statistics revealing Schizophrenia as the second-highest risk factor in COVID-19 mortality rates, and discover what it’s like to live through a pandemic with a mental illness. In part one, host Faydra Aldridge is joined by a woman who witnessed how the stress and uncertainty of living in the time of COVID have exacerbated her brother's mental illness. And in part two, we interview Dr. Katlyn Nemani, NYU Langone neuropsychiatrist and lead author of the study that identified concrete connections between COVID-19 and people with schizophrenia in New York City. Additional Resources: Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Increased Mortality From COVID-19 Mental Illness and COVID-19 Susceptibility in South Korea COVID-19 Prevalence and Mortality Among Schizophrenia Patients in Israel Premature Mortality Among Adults with Schizophrenia in the US Risk Factors for Pneumonia in Patients with Schizophrenia COVID-19 Mental Health Supports (Heretohelp) COVID-19 & Supporting Someone Living with Schizophrenia (BCSS) BCSS' Letter to Dr. Bonnie Henry re: COVID-19 Vaccine See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 28

32 min 6 sec

In this episode, host Faydra Aldridge illuminates the reality of what it's like to experience auditory hallucinations, or “hear voices,” by speaking to people who have lived it. Faydra is joined by Dr. Randall White, the Medical Director of Community Mental Health in Vancouver and the clinical director of the BC Psychosis Program at UBC Hospital, to talk about what is psychosis, what it means, and what to do in a situation when someone is experiencing psychosis. Resources: Early Psychosis Intervention Program BC Psychosis Program Psychosis – Heretohelp Psychosis – BC Schizophrenia Society Schizophrenia: Helping Someone Who is Hallucinating – HealthLink BC Hallucinations in Schizophrenia Auditory Hallucinations in Schizophrenia Auditory Hallucination Simulation See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Apr 14

19 min 35 sec

While mental health is a well-covered topic, people often lump it together with mental illness. We want to challenge the idea that disorders like Schizophrenia are 'mental health' issues. Listen in to our first episode of Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined, where host Faydra Aldridge of BCSS along with her guest Dr. Diane McIntosh, a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, look at the difference between the two terms; why mental illness needs its own specific plan of action and more. Resources: Learn more about Dr. Diane McIntosh This Is Depression: A Comprehensive, Compassionate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Understand Depression Learn more about mental illness – Heretohelp Learn more about mental illness and schizophrenia – BC Schizophrenia Society See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 31

26 min 40 sec

"Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” is a groundbreaking new podcast brought to you by the BC Schizophrenia Society and supporting partners. The podcast brings forward the humanity of mental illness while dispelling the myths by sharing the voices of medical experts, family members, and people with lived experience with mental illness. Host Faydra Aldridge, CEO of BCSS, speaks with medical experts, families, and people with lived experience of mental illness to dispel myths and get to the truth. Be prepared for frank conversations, up-to-date medical information, immersive sound design, and stories of hope and resilience. This podcast is for anyone whose life has been touched by mental illness. In other words, it’s for everyone. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mar 10

1 min 23 sec