In the episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of my favorite people, Dr. David Goldbloom. David has been a leading mental health advocate long before it was en vogue.
He is a leading psychiatrist and an Officer of the Order of Canada. He maintains an active clinical and teaching role as a Psychiatrist and Senior Medical Advisor at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto – Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres. David is also a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.
In 2007, he was appointed Vice-Chair of the Board of the Mental Health Commission of Canada; he subsequently served as Chair from 2012-2015.
He has authored numerous scientific articles and book chapters and has provided talks and lectures to student, professional and public audiences. He is the co-author of the 2017 best-selling book “How Can I Help? A Week In My Life As a Psychiatrist”.
David and I spent the bulk of our conversation discussing his most recent book “We Can Do Better: Urgent Innovations to Improve Mental Health Access and Care.”
I have been personally involved in Alberta helping launch some of the innovations discussed. Many of the challenges that I experienced while attempting to encourage these innovations related to significant institutional barriers: bureaucratic stagnation; political indifference; a fragmented array of historical program and services; and, legacy funding programs that no longer meet the needs of health systems, service providers, or, most importantly: the patient.
I agree with David: We can do better, much better, and that many of the innovations discussed in this episode have promise to Improve Mental Health Access and Care.
In order to unleash these innovations at scale, we require more flexible governmental support, which includes agile funding programs. We also require bold leadership: individuals within and outside the “system”, committed to collaborating fulsomely while also challenging the legacy system that is currently in place.
We can all agree: the status quo will no longer suffice.
Dr. Alina Turner joins me for Episode 17 of Confronting The Madness
Dr. Turner is the co-founder of HelpSeeker Technologies. HelpSeeker Technologies is a social technology B-Corp founded in Calgary in 2018.
Helpseeker develops and services a suite of data-driven digital solutions to support social sector decision-makers, service providers, and community members looking for help.
Alina’s background is as a social scientist with a specialization in systems planning and integration, and as a funder and social policy expert. She’s had the opportunity to work in systems change efforts on homelessness and affordable housing, domestic violence, poverty, mental health, and addictions throughout her career.
She is a Fellow at The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, and serves on the Board of Directors for A Way Home Canada and the Alberta Rural Development Rural Advisory Board on housing and homelessness.
We had a wide ranging discussion which mainly centered around the challenges and opportunities surrounding disruption and transformation in the health and social services sectors.
My guest today is Yalda Kazemi. Yalda’s story is powerful, emotional, honest, and raw. Her courage in sharing her story is admirable.
I feel obliged to make a content warning to listeners that some of the stories discussed in this episode are raw.
Yalda and I spoke about her journey battling postpartum depression, which eventually lead to postpartum psychosis.
23% of mothers having recently given birth reported feelings consistent with postpartum depression or anxiety. The incidence of postpartum psychosis is 1-2 per one thousand births or, .001 -.002% likelihood. 10% of mothers who are diagnosed with postpartum psychosis result in either a mother’s suicide or infanticide.
Yalda is a mom, mental health advocate, entrepreneur, and author of a new book entitled Unapologetic Truths: The Realities of Postpartum We Don’t Talk About. Her personal experience with postpartum mental illness has led her on a mission to be a voice for mothers who suffer in silence; and to raise awareness and break stigmas associated with mental illness.
A powerful conversation, with a powerfully courageous woman.
My guest for Episode 15 of Confronting The Madness is Dr. David M. Clark. Dr. Clark is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Oxford and a National Clinical Adviser for the United Kingdom’s Department of Health.
Dr. Clark’s research has led to the development of new and effective cognitive therapy programs for panic disorder, social phobia, and post traumatic stress disorders. Alongside economist Richard Layard, Dr. Clark wrote the book Thrive: How Better Mental Health Care Transforms Lives and Saves Money.
Dr. Clark was instrumental in pioneering the development and implementation of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) program in 2008. IAPT has grown each year since 2008 and now sees over 1 million people each year.
Dr. Clark has won numerous awards in the UK and the USA. Such recognition includes Lifetime Achievement Awards from the British Psychological Society and the American Psychological Association.
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
Joining me for Episode 14 is Dr. Thomas Insel, an american psychiatrist and neuroscientist. Without question Tom is one of the most influential minds as it comes to mental health in the world today.
Tom is currently a co-founder and adviser to Mindstrong -- a company seeking to transform mental health through innovations in virtual care, data measurement, and data science. Tom has also recently been named the mental health czar for the state of California by Governor Gavin Newsom.
From 2002-2015, Dr. Insel served as Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), advising people like President Barack Obama on mental health policy. The NIMH is the largest research organization in the world specializing in mental illness with a budget of $1.5 billion dollars.
After leaving NIMH, Tom moved to the private sector and from 2015-2017 he led the Mental Health Team at Google Life Sciences, now known as Verily.
Humble, honest, reflective, entrepreneurial, and aspirational are the words that come to mind after talking with Tom.
I hope you enjoyed our conversation as much as I did.
In Episode 13, I had the great fortune of reconnecting with an old friend, lead singer Ewan Currie of The Sheepdogs. The Sheepdogs are a Canadian rock and roll band and first unsigned band to make the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. Since then, they have gone onto win four Juno Awards along with a number of multi-platinum albums.
They have performed at some of the largest music festivals in the world: including South by Southwest, Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza — and last but not least, the Grey Cup.
Please forgive us in advance for some of the inside baseball conservations we indulge in. It was literally our first conversation in 20 years.
Ewan and the Sheep Doggs have had a quite the ride so far. It's a testament to their character that through their rise in fame they have stayed humble, driven, and are still in love with making music because they love music; and I think there is great beauty and meaning in that.
I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did
I had the great pleasure of speaking with City of Edmonton Police Chief, Dale McFee. Dale is one of the most transformational, systems oriented thinkers I have had the pleasure to speak with. He is an authentic and courageous leader, doing the work for the right reasons. I think we are extremely fortunate to have him as our police chief, especially during these turbulent times.
Dale and I spent a considerable amount of time discussing how to recalibrate the social safety net ecosystem in an integrated, coordinated, collaborative, and sustainable fashion.
I strongly encourage you all to take a look at the Edmonton Social Impact Audit Report developed by Dr. Alina Turner and her organization HelpSeeker (HelpSeeker.org) if you are interested in exploring the subject further.
I hope you enjoy this discussion.
My guest for Episode #11 is Member of Parliament, Matt Jeneroux.
Matt is the Conservative Member of Parliament representing Edmonton Riverbend, and a former Member of the Alberta Legislative Assembly.
In January 2020, Matt was named the Shadow Minister of Health. In this role, Matt worked with Canada’s health stakeholders on pertinent files, including COVID-19.
Currently, Matt is a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development.
Matt is a passionate advocate for mental health initiatives with a particular focus on addressing the stigma of mental health in young men.
Matt and I covered a wide range of topics – politics, men’s mental health, publicly funded psychotherapy, psychedelic medicine as a treatment for mental illness, Covid-19, and for good measure, Universal Basic Income.
I hope you enjoy.
*Please forgive the poor audio on my end for this episode*
My guest today is Dr. Tyler Black.
Tyler is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Suicidologist who has been in clinical practice for over ten years. He is the Medical Director of Emergency Psychiatry at BC Children's Hospital. On top of clinical duties, he is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of British Columbia, and a researcher specializing in suicidology, psychopharmacology, and video games. Tyler is the co-creator of the HEARTSMAP (www.openheartsmap.ca), a psychosocial assessment and guidance tool for youth in emergency departments, and the creator of the ASARI (Assessment of Suicide And Risk Inventory), a documentation tool for clinicians who are assessing or noticing suicide risk.
Tyler and I spoke about the impact of school closures on youth mental health; the politicization of suicide during covid 19; the ineffectiveness of suicide prevention programs; and the future prospects of psychiatry.
Believing that you should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans, Ronan has built a career out of doing things that others say cannot be done. Ronan started his career as a securities lawyer at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP but left that after realizing he was much too creative for the profession of law.
Since then, Ronan has helped launch business across a number of industries from gold, to cannabis, and, most recently, in psychedelics where he is a Co-founder and the Executive Chairman of Field Trip Health Ltd. (CSE: FTRP, OTCBB: FTRPF), a global leader in the development and delivery of psychedelic therapies. When not being thoroughly incorrigible, Ronan lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.
Ronan and I discussed his entrepreneurial journey on the bleeding edge of healthcare; his belief in trading your cow for a handful of magic beans; and, why being a stern foe for all sham serves as his north star.
Oh, we also discussed mental health, Field Trip, and the future of healthcare.