This month marks the fourth birthday of the Scottish Recovery Network’s (SRN) story sharing project Write to Recovery. As part of our ‘connections’ theme, their guest blog explains how connecting with our emotions and other people’s experiences through writing can be a powerful tool for change.
Since launching in 2014 the project has engaged with thousands of people through a specially designed online story-sharing tool and on the ground group work with organisations across Scotland.
Write to Recovery is for anyone who has ever experienced some sort of distress, emotional difficulty or mental ill-health. The project explores the power of people owning their story in a positive way. It provides the opportunity and support for people to share experiences, skills and ideas around how to manage and improve wellbeing. Central to the process is the chance for participants to explore writing and to shape their own story.
Our website, which provides tools and inspiration to help people write and share stories of lived experience, now boasts 850 stories and a readership of thousands.
The project has worked with over 35 organisations including a wide range of Universities and Colleges, Perth Prison, Rape Crisis Scotland, LGBT Youth, North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College and the Scottish Government. Through taster sessions, weekly programmes, residencies, sharing events and training the project is going from strength to strength.
On wishing Write to Recovery a Happy Birthday, Lorna Stewart a project participant commented:
“The Write to Recovery project has been a lifeline and a platform for me in terms of expressing myself and exploring my own and other people’s mental health experiences through the written word.
Having other people’s experiences to reflect on and compare to my own has really helped to normalise my own feelings about my mental health but also allowed me to attempt to broaden my own interpretations of my own experiences to help others if possible.
It is a very worthwhile and synergistic project that allows non-judgmental exploration of often complex mental health issues. I have also personally benefited from performing my work. This has boosted my confidence and self- esteem which has led me into different pursuits. Thank you!”