Hosted by the Centre for Applied Mental Health Research
Presenter: Dr Melanie Limb, Senior Lecturer in Geography, University of Northampton
Title: Poetry and Emotion: experimental research exploring the “one in four”
In this paper I explore how emotions have gained credence as playing a central role in understanding cultural and social geographies in general, and issues around disability in particular, and the growing popularity of poetry as an enabling medium of research. I then chart recent statistical measures of the cost of mental illness at the National level. Closer to home, I demonstrate that mental illness largely remains a ‘hidden disability’ in Universities and that the costs to our staff and students are unacceptable. Through a performance of some poems from a personal collection, I share my own experiences of loss, depression, anxiety and recovery and so illustrate the emotional cost of mental illness at the scale of an individual.
Using this poetry as auto ethnography, I have developed an experimental research methodology leading to a creative, performative and collective form of advocacy. A pilot workshop was arranged for staff in October, others will be arranged in February. With the help of the Institute for Health and Well-being, I intend to set up poetry workshops with service users and student nurses. Finally, if the benefits of the poetry workshops can be evidenced, it may be possible to gain funding to extend this project to the general public.
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