Storytelling for Health

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


Real Talk: storytelling and mental health in the community Dr. Alette Willis and Lily Asch, Counselling, Psychotherapy and Applied Social Sciences, University of Edinburgh Once upon a time, there was a project in Edinburgh that employed storytelling to engender dialogue in the community on mental health issues. 'Real Talk' brings together oral storytelling with theories and practices from Narrative Therapy. Over two workshops, we train volunteers, who have experienced mental illness, in storytelling skills and help them to craft a ten-minute story about their experiences. They then perform these stories publicly at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Following the performance, audience members are invited to reflect individually on the stories they have heard and then to reflect back to the performers either through questions or comments, in a process inspired by Michael White and David Epston's Outsider-witness ceremonies. The overarching aims of 'Real Talk' are to reduce the stigma and shame around mental ill health and to build connections and empathy within the wider community. In this paper, we share feedback from participants and audience members from our pilot events, which have already reached more than 180 people, including twenty who have participated in our workshops.
Period16 Jun 2017
Event typeConference
LocationSwansea, United KingdomShow on map