The 12th annual Stratford Literary Festival to raise awareness of mental health

Stratford Literary Festival to partner with ‘Springfield Mind’ to raise awareness on mental health

Stratford literacy festival
Nicci Gerrard, one half of writing duo Nicci French, will speak at the festival

The 12th Stratford Literary Festival is partnering with local charity, Springfield Mind to raise awareness on mental health and at the same time raise money for the cause.

The festival, which runs from April 28 – May 5, will host two events on topics surrounding mental health on Friday May 3. Both events will take place at Stratford Playhouse.

“Mental health is an important strand in our programming,” says Annie Ashworth, Festival Director. Not only do books and reading help with easing anxiety and mental health issues, but many books, especially these days, discuss the topic of mental health and there is much to be said about the subject which is thankfully now aired so much more readily”.

Nicci Gerrard

Firstly, writer and campaigner Nicci Gerrard, who is one half of the best-selling writing partnership Nicci French, will discuss the impact of dementia. She will look at the issues surrounding memory, language, identity and ageing, inspired by her father’s battle with dementia. 

Shockingly, more than 850,000 people in the UK are thought to be living with the (diagnosed) disease.

Nicci is co-founder of John’s Campaign, named after her father, which campaigns to give carers of those with dementia the right to accompany them in hospital.

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Ella Risbridger and Laura Freeman

And writers Ella Risbridger and Laura Freeman will also share the moments and meals that saved them. Ella has written Midnight Chicken, part cookbook, part memoir, which charts her story and recovery from depression.

She will be joined in conversation by the author of The Reading Cure, Laura Freeman, whose love of reading helped her to battle an eating disorder that threatened to overwhelm her.

Springfield Mind

Springfield Mind, which is based in Stratford-upon-Avon, was founded over 30 years ago to promote wellbeing within the community and prevent mental health problems. Its vision is a society where people can live free of stigma and discrimination and achieve their personal wellbeing.

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Both talks, which last an hour, cost £10 (£8 students). Copies of the books will be available to purchase at the event and can be signed by the authors, and there will be on-the-door collections for Springfield Mind throughout the Festival.

Full details on the Festival can be found at stratlitfest.co.uk. Tickets are on sale at ticketsource.co.uk/stratford-literary-festival. For more information on Springfield Mind please visit https://springfieldmind.org.uk.

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