The art of poetry has existed for as long as humans have sought to express themselves. It’s a pattern of human emotions, thoughts, and imagination. It is also a way for introspection and explores the human mind. It’s a linguistic art through which poets find a way to reflect and raise awareness about the human experience. Poetry can be used as a tool to convey the complexities of the human mind. People have always sought poetry to find solace and build community. Poetry is universal, it is read and enjoyed by many. In this article, we will delve into how poetry serves as an effective tool to raise awareness about mental health.
Poetry as an Act of Expression
Poets bare their minds and soul into their poetry. Poetry can be a cathartic and expressive outlet for individuals who are facing mental health issues. Individuals can indulge in the hobby of writing poetry and can put their emotions into words. This can have a cathartic effect. People can articulate their mental health struggles creatively.
Mental health has such an associated stigma attached to it. When people start writing about their mental health issues, their struggle and their journey of healing, people can resonate with these feelings. When people read these words, poetry becomes a medium that resonates with them. They find words that they weren’t able to articulate. When open talks about mental health become a stigma in society, poetry works as a force that breaks that barrier.
People can build a personal connection with the words in the poetry. It creates a sense of unity amongst people as they become aware that they are not alone in their struggles. It also sparks a ripple effect, encouraging people to speak up about mental health, confront the issues and raise their voices against the silence and ignorance that shrouds mental health. Poetry also humanizes mental health and helps dissipate the stigma surrounding it.
As we mentioned before, poetry brings to light mental health issues that are not talked about. Social situations and norms make it difficult for people to talk about mental health. In Indian Society, stigma was seen to be high among females (79.6%), the scores remain high among married (77.8%), high among primary education level participants (81.8%) and remain the same among all social class people (Venkatesh, 2015).
The accessibility of poetry allows us to better address stereotypes and stigma and understand the dangers of putting any one type of mental illness into a box (Newman, 2019). It allows us to raise awareness about mental health by giving it a story and a name. The de-stigmatization process works in such a way that, since it is accessible to many, people from all socio-economic backgrounds, races, genders and of all ages and read about it. Poems express a subject matter with such vulnerability and poise, that it becomes easier for people to accept that such conversations about mental health are worth having and should not be ignored.
Raises Challenges about Misconceptions
Poetry confronts misconceptions surrounding mental health by offering a more nuanced portrayal. By using metaphor, symbolism, and emotional language, poets challenge preconceived notions, illustrating that mental health is not a one-size-Cl fits-all concept and that individuals navigate their journeys uniquely. Poetry as an Educative Medium We’ve talked about how poetry is accessible to all. It is read by the population of all ages and sizes. A survey reports that a population of up to 17.5 % from the ages of 25-30 read poetry.
This tells us how poetry about mental health can be used to talk about mental health, and why is often left out of conversation. Poetry can be included in the syllabus of Xarof students at a very young age. This will also be beneficial for the process of de-stigmatization. When mental health, like all other health well-being, is talked about in general conversations, only then will we be able to progress and create an environment where everyone here has optimum care for their mental health issues.
We have seen how mental health is still a stigma in society. When poetry, a medium enjoyed by people of all ages and sizes is used to raise awareness, mental health can be brought to light and talked about without any barriers. People will resonate with the struggle and feel unity. It helps to bring a community together, it provides relief and solve problems. All in all, poetry is an effective medium to raise awareness about mental health issues.
Read More Books on Poems and Mental health