Podcast by NIU alumnus dives into mental health and neurodivergence

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Ariel Morris , Lifestyle reporter

DeKALB – NIU alumnus Pen Novus and Harvey Green, a senior psychology and women, gender and sexuality studies major, are shining a spotlight on mental health and neurodivergence with topics such as therapy, medication, intersectionality and more in their new podcast titled “Beyond Introspection.” 

Novus, who majored in communications and currently works as a tech desk and studio specialist at the DeKalb Public Library, wanted to create a podcast for a while, and the pair have consistently had conversations about mental health. Novus wanted to have these ideas and conversations heard on the podcast. 

“I wanted to do something that had to do with identity,” Novus said. “I had done a lot of activism with queerness, and I was sort of burnt out from it, so I wanted to do something a little bit different. I have read a very good bit of writing from Remi Yergeau on rhetoric and autism, and it was the first time I was introduced to the concept of being proud of neurodivergence.” 

The podcast, “Beyond Introspection,” can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other podcast streaming platforms. Since the podcast is more conversational between Novus and Green, there’s not much audience interaction. 

“I always knew I was different from other people in a way that I didn’t know how to describe,” Green said. “It was a very lonely experience, and so I’m hoping through whoever we reach. If I can make one person feel less alone in their experiences, that will have been enough.” 

The two podcast hosts enjoy discussing these topics as well as educating the audience about it. When there is new information about mental health, they want to mention it in the podcast for people to know because there’s a lot of stigmas associated with mental health and neurodivergence, Novus said. Novus and Green’s discussions can help the audience open their minds on the diversity of the human brain that’s deemed abnormal. 

From here, the two plan to continue their conversations on the podcast, and they’re open to engage more with the audience. 

“Beyond Introspection” by Pen Novus and Harvey Green can be found on various podcast streaming platforms as well as their handles on Twitter and Instagram, @byndpodcast. For more information, visit “Beyond Introspection.”