Our main activity is facilitating groups of readers and writers, mostly in the mental health field. We reached 300 individuals in our first year of operation. We believe passionately in the power of words as a therapy and source of life enhancement.
We also deliver training to professionals in librarires, and we hope to reach out to health care professionals.
Our third main aim is to raise awareness of the value of bibliotherapy, and to see it flourish as a practice across the country – as it does so in some pockets and areas of the UK with support from medical professionals and the NHS. We want to share our experiences and research with others who have this aim.
Here’s a brief list of some of the specific groups we’ve worked with:
People who were isolated in the Lanark area now have a social activity at our writing group. This gives them social support with others in a similar situation, and the structure of writing provides a useful way to work on their feelings.
People suffering the effects of cancer have benefited from our writing group at The Maggie’s Lanarkshire. This helps support their experiences of illness, their emotional and spiritual needs and sharing with others.
Over 100 people from the local community benefited from activity fighting mental health stigma using a See Me Scotland local grant.
School children had a course on interviewing and writing for bereavement. As part of the RSNO To Absent Friends project, these children were enabled to remember their friends and family they had lost.
Another group of school children have had one-to-one and group writing activities around mental health, anxiety and related issues. They were able to perform better in school as a result of this.
Local library staff were trained by us, to enable many people in their local areas to benefit from bibliotherapy groups.
In Midlothian we delivered a reading group to an addictions recovery group. This helped them to use reading and writing to improve their positive attitude to life.
We facilitate a fortnightly reading and writing group for Hope Café, Stonehouse.