How the ‘Shrink Speak’ Podcast Confronts Mental Health in a Changing World

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    Mental health is, and always has been, a great concern in this country. Columbia Psychiatry Chairman Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman wrote about this very sentiment in his critically-acclaimed book, “SHRINKS: The Untold Story of Psychiatry,” (Little Brown, 2015). In it, he sheds light on how the stigma surrounding mental health came to be and how it’s evolved thus far. Now, Dr. Lieberman is the host of “Shrink Speak,” a psychiatry-based podcast that approaches mental health topics in an approachable, accessible way.

    The “Shrink Speak” Podcast

    The “Shrink Speak” podcast hosted by Dr. Lieberman not only confronts the mental health stigma, it also illuminates the external factors that can have a negative psychological impact on the individual. During each episode, Dr. Lieberman invites fellow authorities in the science and medical fields to lend their expertise on topics ranging from PTSD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse & addiction, and grief, to the impact of COVID-19 on our collective mental health.

    Through evidence-based commentary, Dr. Lieberman and his guests are able to contribute to the larger dialogue surrounding the mental health crisis in the United States. While “Shrink Speak” debuted its first episode back in 2017, its coverage of more timely events—the pandemic, acts of mass violence, political unrest—has provided relevant and thought-provoking insight from a diverse panel of voices.

    The podcast never shies away from tackling hard-hitting issues that perpetuate the stigma associated with mental health from confronting the mental and emotional consequences of being in the military, to the link between gun violence and mental illness, and more recently, how the “new normal” has affected our collective ability to grieve.

    Through educational and easily digestible analysis, “Shrink Speak” explores how our country’s past and present environment continues to shape our communities and ourselves.

    Acclaimed Guests of the Show

    Exploring the convergence of mental health and society in today’s world, “Shrink Speak” features conversations between Dr. Lieberman and leading authorities on psychiatry, science, politics, and culture. In the leadup to the November 2020 presidential election, Dr. Lieberman was joined by past American Psychiatry Association President and Director, Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia, Dr. Paul Appelbaum, along with former California Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr. to discuss the genesis of “The Goldwater Rule,” and the ethics of providing a professional psychiatric opinion about a political figure’s mental health without having examined them in person.

    At the height of the pandemic, Dr. Lieberman hosted a three-part series with guests whose disciplines exclusively pertain to the COVID-19 crisis, including W. Ian Lipkin, MD, infectious disease expert and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University; Brian Fallon, MD, MPH, Director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University; and Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University.

    About Dr. Lieberman

    Dr. Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D., is Chair of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute; and Psychiatrist-in-Chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Lieberman also served as President of the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 and 2014.

    Over his prolific career, Dr. Lieberman has cared for thousands of patients with serious mental illness, and published more than 700 academic articles and 16 books, including SHRINKS: The Untold Story of Psychiatry (Little Brown, 2015), which served as inspiration behind the new PBS documentary series, Mysteries of Mental Illness.

    His trailblazing research on schizophrenia, affective disorders and the clinical effectiveness of antipsychotic drugs has earned numerous accolades from around the world, including recognition by the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the International College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

    Dr. Lieberman’s public policy work has helped to improve mental healthcare on a federal level and reshape the national conversation surrounding mental health stigma. A visible spokesperson on mental illness and psychiatry, Dr. Lieberman has given a TED Talk on Stigma and Mental Illness and is regularly featured by national media outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, CNN, USA Today, 60 Minutes and more.

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