All of us involved with We Are Talking have had a fantastic time with the series. Year Two brought us new topics and new friends, as well as more unique insights into the topics that were discussed. As a sort of ongoing piece, over the coming weeks we will be updating the website with posts from some of our members. These Reflections are from the participants themselves, giving insight into a particular episode that struck them as important or singularly essential to what they see as the goal of We Are Talking.
First up, we have James. James came to us in our first season as part of the King’s Mental Health Awareness Collective, a university society and outreach programme designed to help students and community members with their mental health and wellness. Always in attendance, and always thoughtful, here is what James has to say about We Are Talking.
“The We Are Talking podcast allows for a group of bright thinkers from diverse perspectives to come together, block out the outside world, and wholeheartedly engaging with some of the most immediate issues of today’s youth. After the recording of each podcast, I always feel like we come to a sort of peace with the subject at hand. This may not necessarily mean that we unravelled the subject to its end, but as a small group, we have offered up our individual points and counter-points in a way that can really help a listener that’s questioning the same subjects themselves. I feel overwhelmingly blessed to be a part of this year’s group, and deeply admire the leadership that both Ian and Annett contributed towards helping and harnessing the discussions that proved to be so fulfilling and thoughtful to me. Oh, and one more thing about Annett – she has a way of making you feel like the most important person in the world whenever you’re with her, and to be around such a presence and have the opportunity to work with her will always be among my fondest memories.
“The talking point of greatest interest to me was the episode we did on mental health. Mental health greatly affects my life on a daily basis, whether it be unexpected bipolar episodes, an inability to get out of bed in the morning, insomnia reaping my sleep away from me, and so on, I still consider myself able to thrive. That is due mainly in part to the increased conversations we as youth are having regarding mental health. Whether it be a mental illness or mental health problem you suffer from, or someone looking for mental health literacy to help understand this broader topic, it’s always important to talk. I thought the mental health episode of We Are Talking was excellent and well attended, and above all, these conversations simply need to keep happening. We cannot tolerate being silenced, ignored, and stigmatized. I firmly believe the toughest social issue we’ll face in this generation will be mental health and mental health literacy, and change starts with conversations like those we have in We Are Talking.”
Thank you, James. Check out our podcasts below for more fantastic content. Next up in our series of participant writings, we have Emma. Emma spearheaded We Are Talking’s first episode ever on the portrayal of bodies in the media. Below, Emma details why this particular episode, and WAT in general, are important.
“I became involved with We Are Talking through Ian and Katherine in its inception, and I feel so fortunate to have contributed to this amazing initiative! All of the topics covered during the past two years have been of the utmost importance to the world around us and to our individual lives. I learned a lot from others involved in We Are Talking, and I believe that sharing experiences and perspectives is the most special thing that this group provides.
The episode that meant the most to me was the very first one, where we discussed body image and the influence of the mainstream media on our perceptions of beauty. One of the things I loved most about this discussion was that for many people participating and listening, this may have been the first time they had ever thought in depth about the ways that various forms of media persuade us to believe in a rigid set of standards about the “right” and “wrong” ways to have a body. We also discussed body positivity, something that is very important to me personally, and it was a joy for me to be a part of introducing people to the body positivity movement and reassuring them that they don’t have to change anything about themselves to be loved, valued, or cherished by themselves and others.”
Thank you Emma, for your continued commitment and excellent contribution!