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In Conversation with Professor Willem Kuyken (#02)

Shannon Harvey

When I began my year-long documentary experiment to see what would happen to my health and wellbeing if I meditated every day for a year, a key motivating force was a special issue of The Lancet which declared that every country in the world is facing and failing to tackle a host of mental health issues.

Crucially, the special issue was published before COVID19 changed the world and introduced a whole new range of global mental health challenges.

This is why I'm especially keen to share this week's podcast with you. Now, more than ever, we robust discussions about "the how" of both preventing and treating mental health problems.

This podcast is my extended interview with Professor Willem Kuyken, who is the director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and at the forefront of investigating how mindfulness can be used for mental health.

Although mindfulness is often dismissed as "woo woo" in medical circles, Willem's research has earned him a place among the Who’s Who of influential scientists because his papers investigating mindfulness and depression have ranked him in the top one percent of researchers cited in the field.

In this podcast you'll hear:

  • Why it's significant that a mindfulness intervention has been shown to be equal to medication for preventing recurrent depression
  • If teaching mindfulness to teenagers can prevent them from developing depression later in life
  • Why there's a good reason to be optimistic about mental health treatments in the future

I hope you enjoy the extended interview with Willem. It's such a pleasure to be able to share the material that sadly hit the cutting room floor when I made my documentary My Year of Living Mindfully.

 

 

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