Brown’s psychiatry trainees discuss mental health topics on their new podcast.
During a slow night shift at Butler Hospital, general psychiatry resident Camila Cosmo, MD, got to thinking about a paradox. Here she was accessing cutting-edge mental health research through her training at Brown while so much disinformation swirled on social media. Why wasn’t the education she enjoyed more accessible to everyone?
That late-night musing two years ago sparked the idea for Bear in Mind, the new mental health podcast produced by the Brown University General Psychiatry Residency Program. Each episode features a guest expert discussing an important mental health topic—such as depression, anxiety, or addiction—in a way that’s engaging and easy to understand.
“I hope the podcast can normalize discussions about mental health,” says Cosmo, the co-editor-in-chief. “We hope to engage our community in helpful conversation and contribute to an atmosphere that prioritizes mental health for all.”
Members of the residency program manage all aspects of the podcast’s production. An editorial board of faculty and residents selects topics and special guests. Residents research the content, draft scripts, and rotate co-hosting duties with Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Tracey Guthrie, MD, Cosmo’s co-editor-in-chief. This fall, Cosmo and Alvaro Olivares, MD, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior, plan to start recording versions of the show in Portuguese and Spanish, respectively, to reach more listeners.
The need for broadly accessible mental health education has perhaps never been more urgent. Nationally, mental health conditions are on the rise. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in five Americans lives with a mental illness.
Bear in Mind meets this need with practical, even life-saving, information. The first episode features Lauren Weinstock, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and human behavior who specializes in suicide prevention, discussing strategies to reduce suicide risk, share concerns with friends or loved ones, and seek help.
“This podcast is a practical and meaningful way to reach people who are seeking answers to questions about their own lived experiences, and those of their loved ones,” Weinstock says. “Hopefully, people will feel empowered to use this new information to seek help when needed, and to feel hope about the future, recognizing that there is help available and treatments that work.”
The podcast benefits the residents involved in its production as well. As Guthrie, the residency program director, is fond of reminding them, the word “doctor” comes from the Latin word for “teacher.” The more they communicate effectively with the public, the better they will be able to explain mental health concepts with their own patients.
“This is an amazing opportunity for residents to feel connected to the community, to learn how to break down complex topics into more digestible pieces,” Guthrie says. “I’ve been so impressed with the background research they do on each topic, the scripts they write. It’s unbelievably impressive.”
Bear in Mind is available on Apple, Google, Spotify, and other popular podcast platforms. Follow it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.