Mental Health Storytelling Project

by Nana Tomova in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

£470

raised of £3,500 target

20

supporters
13% 22 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 26th August 2020 at 6:04pm

This project will tell people’s real-life stories of experience with mental illness and their journeys with medication.

by Nana Tomova in Brighton, England, United Kingdom

About Me

I am the Storytelling Pharmacist - professional storyteller and mental health pharmacist. Stories are medicines which I dispense. 


In 2020 I completed a two-year Masters in Research degree which focused on people’s experience with medication in psychosis. The themes which emerged are ones of needing hope and individuality, of re-defining oneself when using medication, and the need for an alternative narrative about medicines in mental health.

This important project inspired me to tell people’s stories.
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I speak about the importance of marrying up healthcare and stories. 

It can be difficult to talk about psychiatric medication with some patients; discussing it can bring back past trauma. Some people have a lot of anger; others need hope. When I enter the room for the session, the communal anxiety and fear of talking about medication is palpable. Then, unexpectedly, I begin with “Once upon a time”.

I hear their sighs of relief. Their tensed limbs relax as they sink comfortably into their chairs. People smile, and they look into the distance to imagine far-away worlds filled with animals, kingdoms, journeys, and heroes and heroines overcoming challenges and coming back stronger.

The stories I tell all have themes of healing, hope or overcoming adversity. With each telling, my stories take on a life of their own and bring new elements of wisdom to me and to my listeners. It is medicine in its own way.

You can find my article in the Pharmaceutical Journal discussing the powerful healing nature of stories used in a mental health environment here

The project

I have been successful in gaining a place at the very competitive three-week residency programme - Storytelling Beyond Words Creative Lab, at the School of Storytelling at Emerson College (previously known as the International School of Storytelling), in order to turn my Masters’ thesis and findings into a storytelling performance. 

This will allow me to take the powerful message of my research to people who need to hear it in order to instigate a positive change, and alter the narrative in healthcare in a positive direction. The performance will be inclusive and accessible for all. 

This storytelling project will consist of a performance, followed by a question and answer session, and a space for discussion, ideas and connection. My hope is to decrease stigma, increase compassion and empathy. It will raise awareness, and anyone who sees the show can help spread this message. I plan to start the performance in Sussex with the hope to expand the reach of this project, including at art and storytelling festivals, educational institutions, and healthcare facilities and conferences nationally and internationally. 

How I will use the funds

The course fees are £1850, and I will use the rest of the money towards ensuring free tickets for as many people as possible, venue and promotion costs, as well as funds for food and transport during my course. The more funds I raise, the more spectacular and far-reaching the project will be.

How will Covid-19 affect this project?

It is hoped that the course will go ahead in September as planned. Should the Covid-19 situation escalate, there is an alternative proposed date in January 2021. 

Should this not take place, and the course is cancelled - I will give you an option for a refund (minus Crowdfunder fees), or the option to continue to support me in this project. 

This project will take place, as I believe in its importance and the need for it to come to fruition. Should the course not go ahead, I have a range of mentors who can help me bring this project to life, and I will utilise the course fees for tuition with them. Should this happen, if you choose to continue supporting me, you will receive regular updates as to how things are progressing. 

What audience say about my storytelling

"An ocean of inspiration"

"Has the power in making the audience feel in safe hands"

"Spellbinding"

"A beautiful and unique style of telling stories"

"You held everyone spellbound and wove the magic of the stories round us all"

"Magnificent storytelling brought to life"

“There is an honesty to your storytelling that is quite rare”

 

What people say about the project

“I wanted to say how refreshing it was to hear about the importance of listening to patients and reflecting what you hear back to them. Hopefully others will learn from your study. Thank you”

“You have done a lot for people taking medication, a massive favour”

“I’m glad someone is looking at something like this”

“About time. Your project is really important for people with lived experience”

“Incredibly important for us to hear as healthcare professionals”

“Very moving”

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£2 or more

Homeopathy

No reward, but a massive thank you from me for your dose of homeopathic medicine, and your support in making this happen

£5 or more

Materia Medica

A deep and heartfelt 'THANK YOU' on my website funders' page for all to see (should you so wish)

£10 or more

The Storycopeia

A handmade and handwritten 'THANK YOU' card, with a unique handwritten poem just for you, and your name on the funders' page of my website

£20 or more

6 of 30 claimed

Alchemy

My poetry book, signed for your personally, plus a handmade and handwritten 'THANK YOU' card and your name on the funders' page of my website

£30 or more

2 of 30 claimed

The Apothecary

Free entry to one of my future story performances, plus my poetry book, signed for your personally, and your name on the funders' page of my website. If you don't live locally (or live performances do not go ahead), I will record a video performance for you.

£50 or more

2 of 20 claimed

The Healer

A free place on one of my storytelling nature walks, plus my poetry book, signed for your personally, and your name on the funders' page of my website.

£100 or more

0 of 20 claimed

The Bowl of Hygieia

An audio recording of two stories, made just for supporters, a free entry to one of my future story performances, a free place on one of my nature storytelling walks, plus my poetry book, signed for your personally, and your name on the funders' page of my website

£200 or more

0 of 20 claimed

The Potion of Panacea

A 45 minute zoom call, answering questions and telling you about the process and the journey of this project, an audio recording of two stories made just for supporters, a special ticket providing free entry to my future story performances for THREE years (for you to keep or give as a gift), and your name on the funders' page of my website.

£350 or more

0 of 15 claimed

Ebers Papyrus

A handwritten invitation to the launch of the mental health storytelling performance – with a public thank you at the event itself, and a talk-and-tea session with me after the performance. A 45 minute zoom call, answering questions and telling you about the process and journey of this project, an audio recording of two stories made just for supporters, plus free entry to my future story performances for THREE years and your name on my website.

£500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Ambrosia

A bespoke performance at your venue, anywhere within the UK, and a talk-and-tea session with me after the performance, a 45 minute zoom call, answering questions and telling you about the process and the journey of this, plus free entry to my future story performances for THREE years, and your name on the funders' page of my website. This is the nectar of the gods - the highest tier of support.

Let's make 'Mental Health Storytelling Project' happen

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