World Mental Health Day 2023 – Mental health is a universal human right
Tackling the Stigma and Silence around Trauma
World Mental Health Day is no longer a day to just raise awareness of mental health problems. More and more of us are aware of mental health, and yet many still aren’t getting the right support.
*Trigger warning – child sexual abuse mentioned*
This year to mark World Mental Health Day, we’re honoured to share a poem, CONNECTIONS, written by Elizabeth Shane. She is currently raising awareness of the impact of child sexual abuse into adulthood through her poetry book ‘Behind the Mask’, using her own unique grasp of emotional, visual and symbolic language to break down barriers around difficult conversations.
Elizabeth reached out to us at Mind in Mid Herts earlier in the year, and kindly offered to write a poem for us about mental health, in the hopes that sharing her experience would support others, and offer insight and a deeper understanding into past trauma and how this presents itself in everyday life.
The poem centres on themes of connection, mental health & abuse as well as isolation & togetherness, and we hope it the sheds light on the profound impact of child sexual abuse on mental health, and the importance of seeking help and support when you need it.
One thorn is all it took to pierce young flesh until slowly, every drop of life departed
And the world stood by silently watching the crimson rose shed every petal in withered despair.
Did darkness ever truly end once the red mist intertwined, camouflaging sharp claws, ferociously digging, only there is no way out but a rapid pull into a swirling vortex of a different dimension,
One where time stands still, paralysed roots impacted in heavy soil, abandoned reality, flowers forget to grow, fragile leaves gasping with crushed breath begging for trickles of moisture to awaken the hypnotic trance
Where to run?
Where to hide?
No place from the noise inside
Mocking sounds from feverish clock hands, pacing like hungry tigers waiting to pounce
And breathe again
This door closed long ago, it reopens to hijack
spinning thoughts out of control,
On days when the sun tries to glimmer behind
During moments being the only lost star in the sky
There is no right way to always feel present on earth, but we are all stars in the darkness of nights, shining our own unique way
Take small pockets of wisdom from the strength of a turquoise ocean, trust in the calmness of life,
sharing the breath
of one sky
We cannot hurry change but by the grace of a new day, can learn to heal through connection, from deep roots of kindness replenishing seeds to re-emerge and flourish together.
© Elizabeth Shane – 2023
There are plenty of ways to make a difference this World Mental Health Day:
- Reach out for support – for yourself or for someone you know
- Spread the word about action for mental health in whatever way you can
- Fundraise for us
- Sign National Mind’s petition on the UK’s Mental Health Act
- The Survivors Trust: A UK-based charity that supports survivors and works to eliminate sexual violence and abuse.
- NAPAC (National Association for People Abused in Childhood): A UK organisation that supports recovery from childhood abuse.
- Childline: A free and confidential helpline for children and young people in the UK who are experiencing abuse.
- Samaritans: A 24/7 helpline providing emotional support to anyone in distress or in need of someone to talk to.
- National Mind: a mental health charity that provides information, resources, and support for those facing mental health challenges.
- Mind in Mid Herts offers creative writing groups and arts & craft peer support groups, so if you’ve been inspired by Elizabeth’s work and would like to do something creative to help your mental health, get in touch at [email protected] for availability.
Behind the Mask:
To read more of Elizabeth’s work you can find her latest poetry book, ‘Behind the Mask’, as well as her previous poetry books and resources she recommends on her website.
A huge thank you to Elizabeth for so kindly taking the time to write a poem specially for Mind in Mid Herts.
From campaigning to fundraising to reaching out for support.
There are so many ways you can act for mental health.
What will you do?
Posted on: 9th October 2023