Be Brave #Changeit
One is outside appearance
The other feels trapped
Inside a glass prison we call society
The words above are an extract of poetry from the collection Be Brave #Changeit. The pamphlet showcases the words of young people in the Newport area who worked with poet and performer Rufus Mufasa in a series of creative sessions to explore and raise awareness of mental health issues.
The project, which was part of the Lit Reach community engagement initiative, provided a platform for young people to express themselves and have their voices heard. The project was delivered in partnership between Literature Wales, Newport libraries and Newport Mind.
The first workshops in August 2018 explored mental health using new avenues of self-expression and resulted in a spoken word piece Prelude to Recovery. This was showcased at the Youth Voice Festival, St Fagan’s in October 2018 as part of the celebrations of the Fusion project, exploring the impact of the arts on young people’s lives.
Following positive feedback from the initial sessions, the group expressed an interest in creating a more positive piece of work to share with peers and colleagues. Be Brave #Changeit illustrates how strong communication skills and aspirations for young people can help positively change the futures of our communities and how creativity can help change lives.
At a celebratory launch event at Newport Central library, the printed pamphlet was presented to the participants.
One participant said: “Such an amazing opportunity and such a unique way to express how we as young people view our struggles and the struggles of others with their mental health. From start to finish we could be ourselves and we are grateful to have been given he chance and a voice.”
You can read the pamphlet of poems below:
Health and Wellbeing is a priority for Literature Wales as illustrated in our Strategic Plan for 2019-2022. By supporting and advocating the various ways literature can contribute positively to the nation’s health and wellbeing, we will improve the lives of people in Wales.
Find out more about the wider Lit Reach initiative by following the link below:
Newport Mind is a mental health charity. They believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone.
They’re there for you. Today. Now. Whether you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis. They’ll listen, give support and advice, and fight your corner.
They have a number of services for people living in Newport. For young people, aged 11 to 25, they have a number of different services. These include recovery-focused individual support, self-management courses, peer mentor support, and individual support for young people undergoing transitions (such as changing schools, starting college, or moving to adult mental health services). They also have volunteering opportunities with the #changeit campaign and peer mentor training.
Newport Libraries are committed to promoting good health and wellbeing, with dedicated book collections and information leaflets, shared reading groups, autism friendly library times, plus coffee and chat sessions.