BBC Presentation

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Today I gave a presentation to colleagues at the BBC about the psychological impact of COVID. While we talked a little about the immediate effect of COVID on mental health, our main focus was the long term psychological impact of the disease. I provided a summary of the research findings to date and we then talked about things that we could do to protect our own mental health.

As well as looking at lifestyle changes, we also practiced psychological exercises based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles to help us reflect on our own thought processes. This is a crucial thing to do regardless of whether one is experiencing psychological difficulties or not, as it helps to develop and strengthen healthy ways of thinking. I would argue that this is crucial at all times, and that we have a responsibility to care for our mental health in the same way as our physical health. However, given the current pressures on the NHS (especially relating to mental health), even more than ever, we have a duty to do everything we can to protect our mental health and take as much pressure off the system as possible.

This was a great opportunity to talk about some of the psychological issues that COVID has raised and one of the heartening things that we learned was that it’s not all been negative (as I have also spoken about previously)! This is really a key time for us to keep building upon the positives, and work to manage and control the negatives as much as possible.

Publication in Areo Magazine

I am delighted to have had an article published in Areo Magazine – an outlet I have long admired. Areo is on online magazine focussing on current affairs, in particular, humanism, reason, science, politics, culture and human rights. Named after Milton’s speech in defence of freedom of speech, Areo publishes essays from a variety of political and social perspectives – something I have previously highlighted the importance of. As a result, I am proud to have been published by an institution that promotes ‘the unfettered freedom to explore, think, and challenge ideas and concepts’.

I wrote my piece following the death of Caroline Flack by suicide at the weekend. Caroline was a popular British presenter who had received exceptional public and media attention throughout her career. Since her death, there has been a great deal of criticism levelled at the British media and this led to me to consider the extent to which we can (or should) hold others responsible for our mental health.

The article is available here, but if you are unfamiliar with Areo’s work, please take some time to have a look around while you are there. Do also feel free to leave any comments, as I’d be keen to hear your thoughts!

 

 

Worth So Much More

I’m very proud to have been involved with No1 Magazine’s Body Campaign #worthsomuchmore.

This is something that I feel very passionate about (as readers of my blog will know!), and in this article, I have offered some advice to help readers work towards feeling better about themselves (mostly by focussing on things other than appearance!).

I think the No1 Team (and Ida who wrote the article) deserve a great deal of credit for approaching the ‘body image’ issue in a different way from how it is usually discussed in the media.

 

Putting things off… BBC discussion about procrastination

I was delighted to again be invited to contribute to BBC Scotland’s Personal Best programme; this time discussing a phenomenon that most of us are familiar with: procrastination! In the programme I chat to Gillian Russell about various reasons why we procrastinate, as well as ways to overcome it.

You’ll find the programme here (or below), do let me know what you think!

Golf Channel feature

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All golf-lovers will know that one of the biggest golf tournaments of the year is coming to Carnoustie this summer. The Open Championship is one of the ‘major’ events on the golfing calendar, and Carnoustie is considered to be one of the toughest golf courses in the world. As a result, there is a certain aura around Carnoustie that strikes fear into the hearts of amateur and professional golfers alike. It was this that I had the pleasure of talking to legendary golfer and commentator David Feherty about in a feature for NBC’s Golf Channel.  I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to do something a little different, and it was a pleasure to work with David and the Golf Channel crew. The piece will be aired in The States in July during The Open.

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Anxiety chat with The Kilted Coaches

I was lucky enough to have a chat with local YouTube sensations, The Kilted Coaches today. The boys had spoken a little about their experiences with anxiety, and had had a great response from their viewers, so we thought it would be good to talk about it in a little more depth.

I was delighted to be involved with this because mental health can still be a tough thing to talk about, especially for men. I think it was incredibly brave for Rab and Stephen to discuss their experiences so openly and candidly. We had some fantastic comments, and I really hope that our discussion will help others to open up about their mental health too…

BBC Newsdrive interview

I was delighted to be invited to feature on BBC Radio Scotland’s Newsdrive programme to discuss the findings of my research on high school pupils’ health behaviours.

To listen to the audio, click here:

 

The original paper can be found here:

Miller, K., Wakefield, J. R. H., & Sani, F. (2016). Greater Number of Group Identifications is Associated with Healthier Behaviour in Adolescents. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 34 (2), 291-305. DOI: 10.1111/bjdp.12141.