Hafan y Coed was officially opened Thursday, March 17th 2016…
Here is a little look back over my involvement with this project and the work of many people along the way…
March 11th was a proud and, in various ways, humbling day for me, and marked tangible recognition of the role of the arts in the search for and maintenance of good mental health. Just six days before the official opening of Hafan y Coed came the ‘private view’ of the art that will be on permanent display to promote and help sustain the ethos of the new facility that I personally sum up as Regeneration, Renewal, Recovery
Many months, many people and much work went into making this permanent exhibition happen, and long may the spirit of this project be continued into the work that goes on at Hafan y Coed.
WORDS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
My words in the process of being put up in the reception/atrium area of Hafan y Coed, the new Adult Mental Health Unit at Llandough Hospital, Cardiff, opening March 17th 2016…to be permanently attached, in metal, opposite the Welsh translation of my words…
CONSTRUCTION COMPLETE…Parts 1-3
1: THE CONCEPT
2: THE ART
A taster of some of the art on permanent display, rather than an attempt to convey the whole experience of seeing the work on site. There is much more to see than one blog can properly convey…
3: THE ARTISTS
I couldn’t fit all the art into one blog, but I can fit in a photo showing all the names of the artistic contributors!
It is a great honour to have some of my words used in this project, and in the years that people see them, I hope that my poetic summation of a positive approach to life may help at least a few people believe in the possibility of better things, that it CAN be true that We Grow Better Tomorrows When We Plant Good Seeds Today.
I had to learn to adopt the attitude summed up in these words in order to survive depression, agoraphobia and social anxiety and, with the help of friends, and skillfully tailored CBT, eventually become someone who could come up with the words that summed up the attitude.
Simplistic on the surface, but words that can be applied to matters concerned with mental health or ANY difficult journey in life, ANY goal of self improvement, ANY need, wish or desire to move on from where we don’t want to be to better places. People seem surprised these days if I describe myself as someone who often lacks self confidence generally or suffers nerves before a performance. But these things remain true. I have merely developed my strengths to the point that my life is far less prey to the feeling of weakness that once defined my entire existence. Experience of the possibility that life can get better, feel better, can be worth living leads to the drive to help others believe it is possible too.
No single arrangement of words offers a solution to the problems people may face in life. But words can bring hope, without which, life is very painful.
We cannot know all that our tomorrows will bring. But We Grow Better Tomorrows When We Plant Good Seeds Today. And any kind of creativity can help any of us be the self we want to be. And there are many kinds of creativity embodied in this project, from the artistic contributors and from many people inside and outside the NHS. Particular massive respect and thanks goes out to project co-ordinator/clinical lead Simone Joslyn, pictured on the day that so much work by her and so many others on this art project finally came to fruition, less than a week before Hafan y Coed officially opened: