Live music to end stigma!
Welsh singer-songwriter Dai Sharkey will be performing at two unique theatre gigs that combine his own brand of ‘dark folk’ with stories about his experiences of living with schizophrenia. The shows are called Schizophrenic and will take place in Llanelli’s Y Ffwrnes theatre on October 23rd and The Riverfront in Newport on November 2nd.
The stigma around schizophrenia and mental illness in general has had a real impact on Dai’s life, having experienced “everything from immature name calling to social disassociation… being refused jobs, being refused insurance, being told I shouldn't have a driving license, I shouldn't be around children or vulnerable adults…” so the need to start conversations about mental health and schizophrenia is something he takes seriously - albeit with a sense of humour: “I have a lot of feedback from people telling me that they now know how to spell it for starters!”
Tickets for both events are free but numbers are limited, so please only order tickets if you are certain to attend the event. You can order tickets here.
Time to Write!
Do you know anyone with a flair for creative writing – or who would just like to give it a go?
Time to Write is a Powys based project that aims to bring together people with and without mental health problems for a series of creative writing workshops. The project is about challenging stigma through a fun, social activity and is very much designed with the needs of people living in Powys in mind. As Project leader Nic explains, “living in a rural community can be difficult on a day to day basis having to travel to shop, work, or socialise. People with lived experience of mental health problems can be even more isolated in these circumstances. The project involves four creative writing workshops in four different towns followed by a four week course in a central location from which we hope to produce a body of work that we can display in public spaces throughout Mid Wales. It is aimed at mixing people with and without lived experience of mental health issues in a safe space”.
If you’d like to hear more, or if you or someone you know would like to get involved, check out their new blog site. The four initial sessions are in Rhayader (12th September), Presteigne (18th September), Builth Wells (26th September) and Knighton (3rd October).
The Bonkers Bikeride!
The Bonkers Bikeride is a pedal powered challenge to mental health stigma and discrimination in North Wales! It’s a bike ride from Blaenau to Barmouth on Saturday the 21st of September, organised by staff and volunteers at the Tan Y Maen Wellbeing and Resource Centre in Blaenau Ffestiniog with support from Time to Change Wales. The cycling event will bring together people with and without experience of mental health problems for fun and fresh air, but there’s a serious message behind the event. As the organisers explain, “any of us can experience a mental health problem at any time; after a bereavement, the breakdown of a relationship, losing your job or just not being able to cope. The people we help are just like you and me, we're not 'bonkers' - but others sometimes say we are”.
Are you ready for a challenge? Register here! Less experienced cyclists might want to consider the family route, from Dolgellau to Barmouth. We’ll all have earned tea and cake at the finish line!
Men’s Sheds present the ‘Redaffodilisatio’n of Carmarthen!
The Men’s Sheds movement began in Australia and, having set up sheds in Scotland, Ireland and England, has finally come to Wales! The Carmarthen Men’s Shed is a place where men can come together to improve their health and wellbeing by participating in community activities. Time to Change Wales are working with the group on specific projects, starting with ‘The ‘Redaffodilisation’ of Carmarthen’, which will provide opportunities for people with and without experience of mental health problems to socialise together and engage in community activities, specifically planting thousands of Daffodils in and around the centre of Carmarthen in late October.