The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

361 – The High Tide And Low Tide Of Mental Health

The High Tide And Low Tide Of Mental Health

Adelaide podcaster, Leesa Scanlan, is shining the spotlight on mental health

Anxiety and depression get talked about a lot but it’s taking a South Australian podcaster, Leesa Scanlan, to bring a dose of gentle, frank reality to the high tide and low tide of mental health.

We start our discussion about mental health in the SA Drink Of The Week segment, which features a beer from Shapeshifter Brewing Company.

And we bring our discussion home in the Musical Pilgrimage, with a new song by Rhys Howlett.

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Please note that in this episode we will discuss mental health and all that it entails. Some time we will talk about suicide and self harm, if this is triggering for you please take a moment to decide if you should continue to listen.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000). You can also call  Lifeline  on 13 11 14 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Other helplines available in Australia include

Mens help line (24/7)- 1300 78 99 78

BeyondBlue (24/7)- 1300 22 46 36

Sane Australia (10am-10pm)- 1800 18 72 63

Suicide Call Back Service (24/7)- 1300 659 467

Running Sheet: The High Tide And Low Tide Of Mental Health

00:00:00 Intro

Introduction to the show.

00:03:00 SA Drink Of The Week

This week’s SA Drink Of The Week is Fading Light by Shapeshifter Brewing Company.

In preparing for our chat, I’ve been thinking about your comments about diving on a recent episode. You said diving was the great escape from issues and worry because it’s just you and your breathing and the ocean. It made me wonder if drinking has become my “diving”. I’ve always prided myself on drinking for the flavour, not for the buzz, but during the time of Covid I think I’ve started using alcohol as a pressure relief valve.

I’m not saying diving and drinking are similar – beyond their relief they bring to stress and worry. Ultimately, diving leaves you fitter and healthier, drinking just leaves your body with a little extra work to do in processing alcohol.

So I am dropping the SA Drink Of The Week as a permanent segment on this podcast. It will still appear when I have an amazing drink to share, but I want to model a lifestyle in which drinking is something done as a pleasureable and mindful activity, not as a medicinal “necessity” or a fait accompli when people get together.

I’m not throwing the bottle out with the bath water, I’m simply severing the ties of habit.

00:13:43 Leesa Scanlan

The host of fellow South Australian Podcast, High Tide Low Tide, is Leesa Scanlan. Leesa and her guests talk about all things mental health because in Australia, one in five people have a diagnosed mental health condition and nine Australians die from suicide every single day. Having been diagnosed with depression and anxiety more than 16 years ago Leesa truly understands the power there is in being able to share your story, not only for the person themselves but for every single person listening and relating to parts of it. And her storytelling is disarmingly frank and insightful, which is why she’s joining us today.

Leesa, the blurb for your podcast says: This podcast is for the one person who needs to hear it today. What do you mean by that?

How do you define Mental Health?

Do you think it’s possible to have “perfect” mental health?

RUOK Day happened recently and for the first time I saw some cynical push back on social media – things like, if one more person asks me if I’m okay, I’m gonna punch them. Can you understand that?

I’ve read parts of your diaries, Leesa, starting when you were age 7. Well, to be clear, I’ve watch you read them on your Instagram feed. Have you always been reflective?

Socrates is believed to have said, “the unexamined life is not worth living” and it makes me wonder, is there a fine line between healthily reflecting on our lives and obsessively being consumed by mulling things over and over again and getting stuck?

Leesa, the reason I wanted to get you on The Adelaide Show was episode 10 of your podcast in which you talk us through your lived experience of dealing with mental health, especially the way it manifested itself as cutting. I had known that cutting is a thing but your explanation was so clear, this action which I had never been able to process, became understandable. Can you define cutting and why it worked as a solution for you at various times in your life?

You lived in Indonesia for six years, during which time your work with tourist ventures and diving gave you enough money to survive on, I think you say you basically you were poor while living in Indonesia. This gives us a chance to ask the $64 question, literally: were you able to be poor and happy? Was any happiness due to being poor or due to working in an enjoyable industry?

I want to return to diving, mentioned during the SA Drink Of The Week segment, would you say diving just brings symptomatic relief to mental health issues, or does it actually help change things in an ongoing way?

Finally, you have an episode in which you list 10 tactics for helping to cope with mental health issues. Could you share a few of them to finish off our chat?

01:04:11 Musical Pilgrimage

In the musical pilgrimage, we have  Dutch Cream Potatoes, by Rhys Howlett.

Rescue Dogs is a collection of songs that Rhys has written over the past 10 years.  And Dutch Cream Potatoes is a perfect song for this episode because it touches on the weight and endurance of sad memories, and the healing power of walks on the beach. In the lyrics, Rhys writes:

Sometimes the best of intentions can lead to the saddest outcomes
And I don’t work hard but I laugh a lot and the thing about walks on the beach that I love
Is how storms will pass, when you’re out in the open you can see the blue sky
If it’s off in the distance at least you can see it
And wait just a minute you’ll be walking right in it
So maybe when people feel isolated it’s a matter of getting out into the open
To breathe in the sky, to stop asking why and start asking how, to make things better

And another lyric that seems poignant:

I think a lot about patterns of behaviour
How factory settings restore when we’re troubled and stressed

You can buy and stream Rescue Dogs and other albums on Rhys Howlett’s Bandcamp page.

Here’s this week’s preview video

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free SFX from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal SFX, the wine pouring and cork pulling SFX, and the swooshes around Siri.

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