I have compiled a booklet of art and poetry created by those who
experience mental illness, which applies the concept of
occupational therapy. My aim is to strengthen communication and
trust between artists and therapists, so that the journey of
healing can begin.
The idea for this project originated when I spent time in
Waimarino Hospital last year, and wrote poems to accompany
paintings created by a fellow patient.
This project means a lot to me. I am bipolar, and like many
people who suffer from mental illness, I have lost so much: jobs, a
relationship, confidence, sometimes even self esteem. When our
illness is exposed, we are stigmatised and discriminated against. I
want to tell the world that having mental illness is not
necessararily all bad; for me, it has been a blessing in
I have never given up on me; instead, I went to study, first at
Toi Ora, then one year at AIT followed by nine years studying at
Auckland University. Since I graduated with a BA at the age of 57,
I have become an author; writing poems is something I love, and I
also paint and compose music. With these newly acquired passions I
open different doors, and I'm determined to do anything I can to
help those like myself.
This is the first of many projects to counter stigmatisation, to
research and learn about mental illness with the hope of finding
therapies to release the suffering caused by antipsychotic
medication. This project is also a platform for those special
artists to be acknowledged.
Your generous donations will help to cover the costs of
publishing the booklet. Your participation in this project is not
just monetary - you are also supporting our efforts to counter