THE charity Mind estimates that approximately one in four people in the UK experiences a mental health problem each year.
And last Monday stunning poetry which cut to the heart of the matter was read out at Redditch full council meeting.
Written and spoken by talented Borough Councillor David Thain (Con, Crabbs Cross) they chimed in perfectly with Mayor Jenny Wheeler’s focus on mental health and well being.
And like all good poetry it conveyed, in just a few lines, what thousands of words could not.
“Mental health is such a massive thing, under-resourced and misunderstood,” said Coun Thain, who worked with Councillor Wheeler (Lab, Greenlands) on mental health issues with young people through the Redditch-based charity St Basil’s.
“You got to hear the most awful stories, and it’s an issue that affects so many people,” he said.
Coun Thain is in his second year studying for a Masters Degree in creative writing with the Open University after doing his English A Level five years ago, followed by a degree.
“Writing is always something I’ve fiddled with; I once wrote a sitcom and sent it to Channel 4 who asked for a bit of a re-write but unfortunately it lost out in the end,” he added.
Don’t walk on by
(a sonnet format)
Don’t walk on by – try and understand
Don’t walk on by – it could be you next
Just talk, offer them a helping hand
Just talk, and I don’t mean send a text
“But they’re just not right in the head”
Tell them something they don’t know
Think: next time might be you instead
But they have no more dice to throw
“Pull yourself together” just doesn’t cut it
They’ve pulled and pulled till there’s nothing left
Give a bit of yourself – take time out, and sit
Walk away and you’ll leave them bereft
Let’s sort out Mental Health for Redditch
I will, you can, we must: let’s scratch this itch.