Writing well & writing to get well

Lily-MHCWI’ve been very privileged to be involved with a recent conference at Birkbeck, University of London, called Writing Well and Writing to Get Well, concerned with the links between mental health and creativity, particularly within the academy. The events happen each Friday evening, throughout May and culminate in a day conference on Saturday 27th. You can see all events here: http://www.bcmh.bbk.ac.uk/2017/03/24/creative-writing-and-mental-health-a-seminar-series/

The reasoning behind the conference is to provoke a discussion between writers and medical practitioners, ie, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, to see what transpires and how each discipline can learn from the other.

I chaired the second event between author John O’Donoghue (who won the Mind Book of the Year, 2009, for his memoir, Sectioned: A Life Interrupted) and psychiatrist Dr Lisa Conlan, who works at the Maudsley. It was a fascinating evening, with much discussion around the highs and lows of psychosis and how it might be channelled through creativity, and whether or not marking in the academy is a good thing within the realms of the more subjective practice of creative writing. We could add to this question what indeed is the role of the creative writing tutor: facilitator or teacher?

We will continue with this conversation, no doubt in a different form, this coming Friday between neurologist, Suzanne O’Sullivan and Prof. of psychiatry, Rodrigo A Bressan https://www.eventbrite.com/e/suzanne-osullivan-and-prof-rodrigo-a-bressan-writing-well-and-writing-to-get-well-3-tickets-32694107957?aff=erelexpmlt. It’s free. Come along!


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