Believe in people

Jolel Miah listens to the 'Uncanny' podcast.

I was recommended this by a former work colleague… we met when we were working in Public Health in a Local Authority. We were both PhD students, too, and I set up a mental health charity with a few others, educating people about the psychospiritual in health and skilling the community in mental health first aid. People around me knew I was interested in mental health both as a scientist and someone who belongs to a faith group, hence a nudge to listen to this episode, ‘The angel in the bathroom’, a case study of an NHS worker where the psychospiritual is to the fore.

The particular event in a mental health crisis didn't surprise me, but it may other people not accustomed to the spiritual world. I'm not saying this was a supernatural event, but I believe the NHS worker – who admits they are atheist or agnostic – described the event as they saw it. In our charity, we’ve seen parallels when people share what was happening inside their homes.  

I listened to other episodes, each with a unique story based on true accounts and people who don't believe in the supernatural. Host Danny Robins used scientists and psychologists to provide alternative explanations to the listeners… a clever way to embed the science, and one I’ll be sharing on the ‘Psychology in the Media’ module I teach at the University of Sunderland. 

I also learned that it's essential to believe in people; just because it's not real for you doesn't mean it's not happening to someone else. The trauma of an event can be worse than the event itself. People need to be reassured, accepted and acknowledged. Challenging respectfully, as in this podcast, serves as a reminder that we can all help one another even if we have different world views.  

Check out all the episodes on BBC Sounds. Just don’t listen in the dark…

- Reviewed by Dr Jolel Miah, Lecturer in Psychology, University of Sunderland

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