The Dragon Café is starting to feel like second home. Every Monday morning I look forward to going there for a cup of tea (and homemade banana bread) after work, meeting interesting people and being introduced to new dimensions of mind, body and spirit. Now I know some of the names and faces. I am turning into a regular and people are getting to know me too. It feels great.
This afternoon I attended a very simple but smart chess workshop and an art display by a Child and Adolescent psychiatrist and some of his patients. He talked about one of his patients with Selective Mutism, Megan Winton (self portrait above) who could not speak at all outside of her home but now does public talks on her artwork. He discussed their creativity process, the positivity of art and wellbeing and the crossover between service users and providers.
I also met with a passionate artist from a group called ‘Mental Spaghetti’ that brings together marginalised groups of society and the general public to help reduce stigma, enable social interaction and to encourage artistic practice in people of all abilities. They are working on an exhibition titled ‘Cross Pollination’ with the aim of blurring the lines of ‘Us vs Them’ (ie. service providers vs service users).
All those years I spent stuck inside a hospital building seem like such a waste now. We all are the same humans, yet there is a such a wide gap between the social model and the medical model of illnesses. I am intrigued to step out of my little world and see all these imaginative, inclusive and heart felt ways of dealing with people.
I wonder if Saagar would have enjoyed any of these things. I think he would have been a stunning percussionist and a very funny mimic. I think he would have had fun if he would have got this far. Oh! There I go again…