208 The Politics of Mental Health Stewart Hawkins image
E208 · The Politics of Everything
208 The Politics of Mental Health Stewart Hawkins
96 Plays
25 days ago

The Politics of Everything podcast with Amber Daines: https://amberdaines.com/podcast/

Here we discuss mental health including suicide so this episode may not be suitable for all listeners.

208 The Politics of Mental Health Stewart Hawkins

Stewart Hawkins is a multi-award-winning journalist, photographer, TV producer and editor. He has covered assignments on seven continents, interviewing powerbrokers, politicians, cultural icons, leaders, thinkers and financial market movers. 

He is a former editor of the Australian Financial Review Magazine, South China Morning Post Magazine, Sophisticated Traveller, Money, and Life & Leisure; worked for Bloomberg TV Hong Kong and is currently Managing Editor of Forbes Australia. 

Stewart spent the better part of the past decade living in Asia, based in China, and travelling and working in the region from Mumbai to Tokyo. This global career has included working as a journalist educator in Somalia (BBC World Service Trust) and Australia. Added to his list of talents, Stewart is an accomplished fine art photographer, videographer and curator with numerous exhibitions in Hong Kong and Sydney. 

As part of his day job, Stewart was granted special access to Bhutan a small country of 770,000 people located between China and India in the Eastern Himalayan region. It is often referred to as one of the happiest nations on the planet, despite its economic and societal challenges, and in some ways behind the times lifestyle when it comes to tech for example. We discuss within the show context with its title The Politics of Mental Health.  

Away from work, he enjoys polo, having played tournaments in Thailand, Spain, the UK, California and Mexico (as well as, memorably, the first camel polo tournament in Ranakpur, Rajasthan!). 

In this episode, we chat about:

1. This idea of a Gross National Happiness index has been around for some time. How have you come to understand it vs the traditional GDP figures many wealthy nations like Australia, Singapore, or the US may come to focus on?

2. In Bhutan last year you sat down with the country’s secular leader and a senior spiritual scholar to explore that dichotomy of future-focused activities like more technology access vs their spiritual heart and wellbeing. What surprised you most about that conversation and why?

3. We know that Australia is suffering from what seems to be a never-ending mental health crisis. Suicide and self-harm are increasing and social media and access to technology has a role to play especially for younger people. Meanwhile, in Bhutan, there is a split desire for creating happiness but also, a push to digitalise and a serious brain drain to other countries like Australia. Why is that happening and is it just about education and more economic advantages or something more?

4. Gross national happiness, as a governance concept, was introduced to Bhutan in 2008. How has that benefited the way the outside world views Bhutan do you think?

5. Best piece of advice you were ever given and why?

6. If we spoke again in a year what would be your #1 goal to have achieved – explain why.

7. Takeaway: What is your final takeaway message for us on The Politics of Mental Health?


LinkedIn: (62) Stewart Hawkins 賀健時 | LinkedIn

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