The latest talking Flutes podcast is on stress and mental health. This is such an important topic and one that should concern us all. I'm chatting on the podcast to Dr Roelof Joe Stammeijer, who happens to be my son! He is a psychiatrist in Yorkshire and his comments about daily struggles and most importantly, how to implement coping strategies, are so useful. As musicians, we spend a great deal of time alone, and it's very easy to be over critical and harbour negative thoughts. Talking about these struggles is a sign of strength not weakness and is important for all of us to recognise. I remember clearly that my early years as a student and young professional, were littered with rejections and criticism that was not always constructive. It's part of our profession that we audition or take exams and then are judged - not always fairly - and either we succeed or fail. This is a disaster for our mental health and well-being. So it's OK to acknowledge that you're having a bad day. It's perfectly natural to have off days. Talking to someone can help relieve the stress and the worry and enable you to then continue and progress. So make time to talk and take care of your own mental health!