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Local podcast 'Look Again' seeks to transform perceptions of mental illness

British Columbia Schizophrenia Society launches the fourth season of “Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined”
Melissa McKenna, marketing and communications manager & Faydra Aldridge, chief executive officer, at BCSS and hosts of ‘Look Again.’

The British Columbia Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) is launching the fourth season of its enlightening podcast series, "Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined." BCSS is a long-standing provincial organization that supports the families of individuals with severe and persistent mental illness.

The new season, which debuts January 3, 2024, continues BCSS’s commitment to deepening public awareness and understanding of serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Season four: a new chapter in mental health dialogue

The fourth season features a total of seven episodes that mix expert interviews and personal stories from individuals living with mental illness or who care for someone with a serious mental illness. The first episode’s guest is Kody Green, a TikTok influencer known as @schizophrenichippie, who shares his experience living with schizophrenia and creating content about his mental illness.

Season four of “Look Again” will also include a new co-host, Melissa McKenna, BCSS’s marketing and communications manager, alongside host Faydra Aldrige, CEO of BCSS. 

McKenna emphasizes the podcast's approach: "We're focusing on severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which are often overshadowed or left out of mainstream mental health discussions," she explains.

Episodes are uploaded every second Wednesday from January 3rd to March 27th, 2024. Photo via: BC Schizophrenia Society

Aldridge is amazed that the podcast is already in its fourth season.

“We are excited to incorporate a new voice as a co-host this season with the goal of reaching more people, particularly a younger audience."

The trailer for season four of “Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined” and all episodes – which are uploaded every second Wednesday from January 3rd to March 27th, 2024 – can be found here.

Breaking down stigmas

Severe and persistent mental illness often goes ignored within greater discussions of mental health and healthcare. “Look Again” aims to fill this gap by providing informative and engaging content to educate the public and support those directly affected by these conditions and their families. 

Topics this season include using virtual reality as a tool for psychosis, early psychosis intervention programs, and the use of social media to educate youth about mental illness.

One of the primary goals of the podcast is to challenge and reduce the stigma associated with mental illnesses like schizophrenia. The podcast presents a more nuanced and empathetic understanding of these conditions through its short and easily digestible episodes to counter prevalent misconceptions and stereotypes. 

A resource for learning and empathy

The podcast also serves as a means to foster empathy and understanding towards individuals with severe mental illnesses. It provides clarity on the distinctions between mental health and mental illness and underscores the importance of family support and community understanding in managing these conditions.

Joining the conversation

You can support BCSS's mission by listening to the podcast, following their social media, and exploring the wealth of resources available on the BCSS website. 

BCSS also welcomes donations to help sustain and expand its critical services. These contributions are vital in ensuring that families affected by severe mental illnesses continue to receive the support and resources they need.

As "Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined" enters its fourth season, it solidifies its position as a crucial resource in the field of mental health and mental illness. BCSS's efforts through this podcast represent a significant stride toward a more informed and empathetic society where the complexities of mental illness are acknowledged and addressed with care and respect.

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