The January February edition of the VOCAL Newsletter can be found here. Read about whats new at VOCAL including upcoming Advocacy Days, Training Opportunities, and meet our newest staff member, Megan Sharkey.

I am a big fan of NPR and I spend a lot of time in the car. Once I figured out how to load my phone with podcasts, the game was really on. There is so much out there to enjoy.

What I started noticing is that much of what is featured on general storytelling shows was actually about themes we think about everyday, like peer support, but that wasn’t the language being used. Another general interest piece would begin about toast and hipsters but turn into a tale about hearing voices and a unique path to recovery.

Please let me share some of what has tickled the airwaves over here, and let me know what you have been listening to!

“This American Life,” tries to explain their format like this “There’s a theme to each episode of This American Life, and a variety of stories on that theme. Most of the stories are journalism, with an occasional comedy routine or essay. There’s lots more to the show, but it’s sort of hard to describe.”

I’m telling you, this is a gateway Public Radio show, meaning this is how I got hooked 😉 Here are two super-great “This American Life” acts to get you started:

Act Three: The Hostess with the Mostess. https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/520/no-place-like-home?act=3 I don’t want to spoil it by trying to explain, but this is my favorite mental health-related story I’ve ever heard.

Act Four: The Test  https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/551/good-guys-2015?act=4 This is my second-favorite mental health story I’ve ever heard.

Snap Judgement is another quality NPR show that is available as a podcast or online. This story is about the wrestler Cassandro El Exotico. Don’t do any research; just let things unfold on their own. http://snapjudgment.org/cassandro-el-exotico

The Moth Radio Hour is “True Stories Told Live.” Listen to “What Can’t Be Fixed.” https://themoth.org/stories/what-cant-be-fixed  If you are a Peer Support Recovery Specialist, feel free not nod knowingly as you listen.

There are many, many shows aimed at talking about mental health from multiple angles. Will Hall’s Madness Radio: Voices And Visions from Outside Mental Health goes beyond the conventional and mainstream and features interviews with survivors, advocates, artists and others. “The Hilarious World of Depression,” is a show where comedians talk about their inner struggles and “The Mental Illness Happy Hour” is another of a similar style. But I will be honest, what I like best about the stories listed above is that they are just pieces about people trying to get by.

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