These workshops have come out of a collaboration with the Wellcome trust, whom with we were looking at developing the narratives around Mental Health. 

 

To approach this, we moved away from the current framework of language which can feel flattening and reductive to mental health experience. Multiple choice questionnaires and blanket term labelling, for example, have their space within and around our health services, but also can reduce evaluation to mere quantitative binary measures preventing access to the full volume of one’s experience. 

Trying to understand someone’s mental health experience is like trying to understand a 4D shape from a 3D plane; you never fully can. 

4D is a metaphor for mental health in that it is the dimension that lies above everything, the dimension that is within and without simultaneously.

Reaching the 4th dimension (Mental Health Experience) from our realm may be  an impossible task, but through acknowledging this, and attempting regardless, we are enacting a commitment to care that can get us to 3.5D. This fractional dimension, hovering between the 3rd and the 4th, is a realm of experience that corresponds to a more undetermined and reflective stage in the journey towards the 4th dimension. 

The mind is often the sole tool we use to process experience, and the body disregarded. But perhaps where language fails us, or flattens our complex experiences, using the body can start to introduce additional dimensions.

These work in progress workshops are a call for care beyond empathy. The first  took place at Goldsmiths University on 15/04/19, and the second at The Five Bells Medicine Gallery on 22/04/19. 

Facilitated along side Frankie Storey, Michelle O'Higgins, Lauren Coutts and Zoë Frost. (@scoobyscoobyscoobyscoobyscooby)

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