Podcast: Time to talk: challenging taboos in mental health with Sarah Anderson CBE, CEO of The Listening Place

Sarah Anderson


The Covid-19 crisis and accompanying lockdown restrictions have brought mental health to the forefront of our minds. Many people have suffered with increased anxiety, stress from career or financial worries, family health concerns, fear, and the ongoing reality of an exceptional experience with few certainties.

Looking after our own mental health is as much a concern as our physical health. We are having our resilience tested like never before, and it’s important to find support where we can to help us weather the storm.

At its most extreme, mental health issues can lead to tragic consequences. More than 6,000 people die from suicide each year in the UK, with many more attempting or thinking about it.

In this podcast, we talk to Sarah Anderson, CEO of The Listening Place, who challenged orthodoxy around supporting those with suicidal ideation when she launched the unique service in 2016. The Listening Place offers those with suicidal thoughts a welcoming place to talk openly about their feelings without being judged or given advice – and challenges taboos around an area of mental health that is, for many, still a hidden experience.


00:54 – Why was TLP set up?
01:39 – What was the journey?
04:33 – How is your service unique?
05:34 – What is your aim?
08:23 – Where do you get your volunteers?
11:11 – Is it that people just need to be heard?
12:41 – Why did you feel the need to lead in this field?
14:40 – What did you take from volunteering for the Samaritans?
16:19 – Is it more acceptable now to ask for help?
18:13 – How much more should business be doing to support employees’ mental health?
20:23 – How should people support those around them?
22:28 – How do you look after your emotional health?
23:52 – Importance of real friendships
26:13 – What’s next for The Listening Place?
27:50 – Would you partner with the NHS?


The Listening Place – https://listeningplace.org.uk/


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