Helen’s powerful poem keeps health in mind

Helen’s powerful poem keeps health in mind

An ELCAP’s Support Practitioner’s poem on the importance of connections has been included in a new collection published by mental health charity, Health in Mind.

Helen Hall, who works in Dunbar, used her creative skills to pen a moving poem on the challenges presented by isolation and loneliness:

My Sunshine Today

I saw you sitting alone
Do you mind?
No that would be ever so kind
Kind? I say as I smile
Yes you say it’s been a while
As people avoid me and leave me alone
But in my head I loudly say
Please please sit by me today
Take my thoughts away
Of loneliness and pain where it always rains
Please be my sunshine today

Copies of the poetry collection Connect are available online for a suggested donation of £5.00.

ELCAP caught up with Helen to learn more a about her experience.

What inspired you to enter the Health in Mind poetry competition?

“I saw an advert for the competition online.  Health in Mind featured a picture of a lady sitting alone on a bench.  We were asked to explain what we thought she was feeling and thinking.”

Why does poetry matter?

“Poetry to me is like a short story about feelings – how I see an item, a person, or a picture.  It can be fun, serious or very meaningful, but only from our perspective.”

You cover themes of isolation and loneliness in My Sunshine Today.  What are the personal and societal impacts of these issues?  And what can we do to address them?

“In relation to social isolation, bereavement, money problems, the pace of life and relationship break-ups all impact on our thoughts.  People can feel hurt and unable to face the world, feeling disconnected and worthless.  These feelings can lead to drug use, self-harm and other forms of self-abuse.

You can be lonely yet surrounded by people.

Social activity – interaction – is what gets us involved.  Talking and waiting for an answer, being interested and listening, having friends and family, staying connected, kindness, making sure others know their worth.   All of these things can make a difference.”

Health in Mind’s poetry collection is the first in a series which explore the five ways to wellbeing, which are:

  • Connect
  • Be active
  • Take notice
  • Keep learning
  • Give

A short feature on the five ways to wellbeing was featured at ELCAP’s staff seminars in September 2021.

Reflecting on Helen’s poem and her contribution to Health in Mind’s publication, ELCAP Chief Executive Paul White said:

“Our vision is that everyone, no matter what their individual support needs, is able to live to their full potential and be an active and valued member of our community.  The importance of community connections can never be underestimated and Helen’s poem brilliantly captures the difference we can make when we reach out to others.”