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Getting Real: Kything, a podcast showcasing mental health stories

In 2016, Real Talk ran its first Storytelling for Wellbeing evening at the Scottish Storytelling Centre (SSC). Six people shared a 10-minute story they had crafted around their experiences of mental health, followed by an intimate evening of conversation, curiosity, and connection with the audience and speakers.

From that first moment, I sensed the magic and the importance around safe spaces and sharing stories about mental health. Since then, we’ve been delighted to have continued collaborating with the SSC while working at this intersection of wellbeing and creativity.

As a small social enterprise, our vision is a world that celebrates transparency around mental health in order to promote wellbeing. Our mission is to use storytelling and creative expression to foster both individual empowerment and community. We run storytelling workshops for individuals and organisations, host trainings around mental health and wellbeing, as well as hold creative and healing groups online.

Before the pandemic, everything we did was in-person. Of course, this all changed after Covid. We felt keenly the loss of the spaces to witness mental health stories and hear from the wisdom of everyday experiences. We heard our community express how vital these honest story sharing spaces are, now more than ever. From this, the idea for a podcast sparked into being and Kything entered the scene.

 

To kythe is an old Scots word, meaning to make visible through words or actions.

 

The Kything podcast is all about making everyday experiences of mental health visible; the messy, the still becoming, the hopeful and the mundane. We carry forward our values of authenticity and honesty to the audio space, like a mini-Real Talk evening right in your ears.

For the first season of the podcast, we reached out to our past speakers and invited them to share a new story by taking them through our story crafting workshops. So, each Kything episode features a short, creative story told by a Real Talk speaker, which was recorded during a live event. I then interview each speaker to get deeper into their perspectives and journeys. The result is conversations of surprising depth and vulnerability, pepper with little gems of advice and comfort.

The beauty of our community is its diversity, so each episode, and story, is so different. The lived experiences range from depression to schizophrenia to a phobia, from an eating disorder to making sense of abuse during childhood. But overarchingly what I came away with is this sense of shared humanity, of the tenacity of humans to try to be well even during incredible challenges, and of the power of hearing the wisdom of other people’s realities.

 

Some come Kything with us!

 

The first three episodes are out today on all major podcast platforms, just search Kything or click here. You can find Kything on Instagram @kythingpod. New episodes are released every 2nd Wednesday.

We are already beginning to think about Season 2 and want to invite new speakers in. So, if you’re interested in sharing your story, send us an email at: hello@realtalkproject.org

Learn more about Real Talk at www.realtalkproject.org or follow us on Instagram @realtalkstories. We’re always happy to hear from people about ideas to collaborate and co-create.

 

Lily Asch is a social entrepreneur, storyteller and mental health advocate. She began Real Talk in 2016 after giving a talk with TEDx about her own lived experiences. She was stuck by power of holding intentional spaces for discussion, connection and compassion and resolved to create more of them. She is a firm believer that everyone possess creativity and that its a vital tool for wellbeing.