Mental health podcast helps educate students

Natalie Venegas

Through an original podcast, one Dell Medical School resident hopes to bring awareness to mental health issues and educate students who are struggling with their mental health.

Gregory Scott Brown is a psychiatrist and an advocate for mental health. In 2018, Brown started his podcast “This is Mental Health” with a grant he received from the American Psychiatric Association. The podcast allows him to openly talk about mental health with different advocates from the Austin community, he said. 

“I thought a podcast would be a great way to highlight some of the interesting and innovative work that people in the community are doing to support mental health,” Brown said. “I felt that there is a lot of stigma when it comes to mental health, but that it is changing. There is a lot of people that are thinking about mental health, even if they are not talking about it.” 

In the podcast, Brown educates listeners on the various resources available for those struggling with mental health while bringing unique voices to speak about the issue. 

“I’ve had artists, coaches and chefs (on the podcast),” Brown said. “I found that when I have guests like … people are able to connect more to them.” 

Neuroscience senior Karolina Rymarz said college students are now finding a lot of information on mental health in nontraditional ways. She said platforms such as the podcast can bring light to the subject.  

“Mental health isn’t something that should be masked,” Rymarz said. “It is just as important as physical health and deserves the same focus. The more accessible we make information about mental health, the quicker the stigma will decrease and students won’t have to suffer in silence.” 

Karen Ranus, executive director for the National Alliance on Mental Health Austin, said people often don’t talk about their mental health or reach out to others due to a stigma surrounding mental health issues.

“We need to create a space that lets people know there is nothing to be ashamed about, that mental health is health,” Ranus said. “The more that we educate our community to understand this, the more impact it has.” 

Rymarz said students need to have openness to create a comfortable space, and this podcast is a step in the right direction.

“If we don’t create an open and supportive space for students, they won’t be comfortable enough to be vulnerable and talk about mental health,” Rymarz said.  

Brown said it is important for people to start talking, and he will continue to discuss resources that people may not be aware of, such as art and yoga therapy.

“I want people to realize that mental health is something that we can talk about and is something that people don’t have to feel afraid of,” Brown said.