October 10th is World Mental Health Day and we’re commemorating by running a special week (and then some) where we focus on writing and its connections with mental health issues. As well as new (and old) reviews a number of writers have written pieces exploring their own views and points of connection between creativity and mental health. We hope there’s something to interest, inform and inspire you throughout the next couple of weeks. It won’t all be comfortable reading but there’s nothing wrong with pushing out of one’s comfort zone every so often.
The ‘theme’ of World Mental Health day this year is ‘Depression.’ It’s a word far too often bandied around and carries a ridiculous stigma. But peoples ignorance about mental health often surprises me. I have had people suggest that those with a learning disability ‘label’ are ‘mentally ill’ and too many people think that there’s no difference between depression and extreme psychosis. It’s all just ‘madness’ and all such people are ‘dangerous.’ I think it’s time we lift the veil of ignorance and fear and hope that our special features will do this to some degree. One thing I’m sure about is that mental health issues are a concern for everyone in society and I hope that you will feel it worth your time engaging in our Special from tomorrow until the middle of October. The ‘main’ features run till October 14th but the following weeks reviews also feature writing which can be seen as relevant to ‘issues’ of mental health.
For those who hate to be left in the dark, our contributors will be:
Dan Holloway, Sherry Ashworth, Cally Phillips, Linda Gillard, Rosalie Warren, Stuart Ayris and Julia Jones
And there will be new reviews of the work of Linda Gillard, Rosalie Warren, Mark Frankland, Neil Rushton and Barbara Bevilacqua
Make sure you come visit us every day – and spread the word on your social networks where possible. Most of all TALK about mental health. To your friends, your family, your loved ones. Anyone and everyone and BE KIND.
And here’s a piece of music that always makes me laugh – call it music therapy if you like! Take five minutes out of your day… and enjoy listening to ‘the stories that nobody hears.’