The Advocacy Project’s Healing Words poetry competition

HealingJoanna Scanlan twitter graphic

Actress Joanna Scanlan encourages people to get creative to improve their mental wellbeing

Launching The Advocacy Project’s Healing Words poetry competition, Joanna speaks out about how writing helped her deal with depression and acute anxiety.

London, July 2019

TV’s dark comedy queen Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It; No Offence) is no stranger to mental health problems. At a time when one in four of us will suffer with mental health issues,

she is using her experience, of improving her own mental wellbeing through writing,

to encourage others to get creative by taking part in The Advocacy Project’s Healing Words poetry competition this summer.

Launched at the beginning of July, it invites asks anyone who has experienced mental health problems, and their friends and families, to enter a poem into one of five categories,

The competition closes on 8th September, 5pm.

The Advocacy Project’s Chief Executive Judith Davey says,

There’s now increasing evidence to show how creativity is beneficial to our physical and mental wellbeing.
It can help us feel more able to cope with stress, build a sense of confidence and self-identity, and find meaning in the world around us.
Our poetry competition will chart the journey to recovery from the darkest days of mental illness to the point of recovery – and all stages in between. Significantly, it will celebrate the value of creative activities in the recovery process as a way of engaging the imagination, reminding people of their capabilities and value, and building a sense of identity and social worth.”

About the Healing Words poetry competition

An annual competition, reaching out to people who have mental health problems (or have recovered from mental health problems),
their friends, family and carers to raise awareness of these issues.

We’re inviting people of all ages to submit a poem (shorter than 25 lines) in one of the following five categories: 

  • Darkest days

  • Good days & bad days

  • Being well

  • Illustrated poems

  • Spoken poems

The competition culminates with an exhibition and awards ceremony in early October, on and around National Poetry Day (3 October). The exhibition, held in central London, will showcase the competition entries to the general public.


More Information


Twitter @TAPadvocacy #HealingWords2019

Or please contact Jo Kay on 07984 353 961;


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