The Department of Health and Social Care’s Mental Health Service, in partnership with the Isle of Man Arts Council, has published a book of poetry created by both inpatients and community service users.
The book was officially launched by talented and widely published local poet Usha Kishore at the Villa Marina Arcade on 15 October. As well as celebrating the service users’ talents for poetry and creative writing, the book will help promote the benefits of creative writing for improving mental health and wellbeing, raising awareness of mental health issues among the wider community and challenging the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental ill-health.
Diane Watts, Community Mental Health Professional said:
'Participation in arts and creative activities have been shown to provide different ways for people to express themselves, enhancing self-esteem, improving communications skills and promoting recovery. The Creative Writing Group was established in 2013 as part of government’s commitment to protecting the vulnerable. The Group provides a weekly themed activity session for inpatients and community service users to explore one aspect of the recovery process. They have been writing poems, ditties, letters and stories about everything from recovery and hope, to sunsets and friendships. They suggested that a compilation of their work be published to improve understanding and acceptance of mental health issues and foster greater community inclusion.'
Usha Kishore said:
'It was a privilege to be invited to launch this booklet of poetry in which there are many creative examples of exploration and journey, inclusion and recovery, all demonstrating self-expression and very personal feelings and emotions. Well done to all involved.'