‘#Unafraid : Mental Health in Words’ is an evening to celebrate the benefits and importance of arts and mental health collaboration, taking place on 16 May (Sunflower and I, Cardiff Bay).
We will be joined by Patrick Jones, Royal College Psychiatrists Wales artist in residence (who is currently leading our successful #ThisIsMyTruthTellMeYours arts and dementia Project) plus esteemed Wales-based poets Eric Ngalle Charles, Mark Smith, Parvin Ziaei, Christina Thatcher, and Mab Jones, all of whom will be sharing personal stories about their mental health experiences and reading pieces of work that were influenced by their journeys. Mair Elliott, Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales Patient Representative and St David’s Award Winner 2018, will also be contributing to the event. In addition to her personal experiences, she is also a writer and prominent activist, fighting the corner and championing the rights of those with experience of mental illness.
I believe the creative arts, with particular emphasis on writing, can take us to a place of healing away from our pain. We forget where we have been and where we are going and simply be. As artists and/or practitioners we need to revisit our core beliefs of why we embarked upon our own creative journey. I often go back to why I started writing. Out of loneliness, heartbreak, despair, sadness and rage I found words or they found me. I also think back to those incendiary moments and how I felt. That is the key. Feeling.
- Patrick Jones, Artist in Residence, Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales
The purpose of #Unafraid : Mental Health in Words’ is to:
- Demonstrate the positive impact of arts in mental health
- Explore the potential ways the college can promote these impacts within a clinical environment
- Highlight the rich heritage of the arts in Wales
- Acknowledge and embrace the goodwill of those in the arts world who are keen to demonstrate how vital and beneficial their work is for mental health services
This work is both exciting and invaluable, and we are keen to reach out to more writers and poets. No-one is immune to experiencing mental ill health, how we manage our mental health is so important and the arts have a part to play in promoting positive mental well-being.
- Professor Keith Lloyd, Chair, Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales
As an organisation, we are passionate believers that engagement in the arts – and literature in particular – can have a positive effect on people’s mental and physical wellbeing and can improve our lives. To that end, we’re delighted to support this event which will help to amplify the need to widen the conversations around mental health.
- Lleucu Siencyn, Chief Executive of Literature Wales
It is now widely recognised that the arts can play an extremely positive role for people experiencing mental health issues. The Royal College of Psychiatrists Wales is keen to promote the importance of arts and Mental Health across Wales as an area for professionals to give serious consideration to when establishing the best ways to treat and support their patients. We’re so grateful and delighted to have the support of Literature Wales for our work in this area to date (including this event) and are very much looking forward our future joint projects together.