This article is Part 1 of 2…

“Lights, camera, action!” are swapped in favour of “audio, empathy, activism!” in this entertaining podcast episode.

MQ spoke to 4 of our celebrity supporters including Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard, actress and presenter Linda Lusardi, Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard and writer and influencer Gemma Styles.

While mental health research is expanding, AJ feels a part of that needs to encompass understanding why certain approaches work for some and not for others.

“Myself and Curtis are brothers. But we’re two completely different people… We all get hit with this “one thing fits all” … whereas everybody is an individual… What works me doesn’t work for Curtis.”

Curtis adds to AJ’s point.

“{Meditation} isn’t for everyone. But it’s something I love to do… It’s one of the best things I’ve ever learned.”

The significance of personalised mental health treatment is being investigated by MQ, like in this study into personalised methods.

Another area of importance is research into the effects the pandemic has had on mental health, as Linda Lusardi illustrates.

“Having had covid badly myself, I know it has affected {me}. I get anxious. It’s affected my family. My daughter’s had therapy… She was having panic attacks.”

A recent study shows the UK’s mental health has declined as a result of the pandemic, especially for young people, those with pre-existing mental health conditions, those who experienced covid and women. MQ funds studies such as this one into youth depression and anxiety during and after the pandemic.

The personal stories continue with our celebs. Gemma Styles has been open previously about her depression and anxiety but now reveals a personal interest in the link to neurodivergence.

“I was diagnosed with ADHD earlier this year (2022) which has been eye-opening… It links very commonly to comorbid conditions like depression and anxiety… I would love to see more research about that.”

MQ is supporting research into the links between neurodiversity and mental illnesses, such as this recent study.

In this episode, Gemma doesn’t shy away from making clear the differences between the experiences of those in the room.

“Everyone is very different; we are all individual people… But there are also vast inequalities… It took me until my 30s to be diagnosed with ADHD because the criteria we have focuses on young boys generally… The further away you get from being a white man… the less the data that we have serves you.”

Inequalities in data collection is a problem MQ is seeking to solve. For example, women are twice as likely to develop anxiety disorders as men, but we don’t know why so MQ is funding this study into sex hormones and fear inhibition.

Research like MQ’s can have positive personal impact, as Gemma makes it clear.

“{When I was diagnosed} I was looking through this research and I was ticking boxes of things I never thought would have anything to do with a neurodiverse condition or a mental health condition. As soon as you’ve got the terminology… there is research there that connects so many different things.”

As our celebrity supporters so clearly say, MQ’s research is very much needed.


You can read part 2 of this podcast looking at celebrity culture and mental health here <hyperlink to part 2>

You can donate to MQ now here – Make a Donation | MQ Mental Health Research

If you have been affected by any of the themes we have spoken about in today’s episode you can speak to the Samaritans anytime by calling 116-123.

Follow AJ Pritchard on Instagram – @AJ11ace

Follow Curtis Pritchard on Instagram – @curtispritchard12

Follow Linda Lusardi on Instagram – @lindalusardi

Follow Gemma Styles on Instagram – @gemmastyles

The post MQ Open Minds Podcast: Celebrity Supporters Suggest What To Research Next first appeared on MQ Mental Health Research.

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