Hello, everyone!! Merry Christmas thanks for joining me here today to explain a bit more about future projects that I’m going to be working on. Some of them actually, almost practically finished. So yep, my name. As you can see from the title here, my name is Matthew McKenzie, Carer campaigner, Mental health carer activist who facilitates several carer groups around half of London.
what I want to do is just explain a few things regarding some books that I’m working on. I’m going to start developing audiobooks, I will of course continue to work on paperbacks, one of them is in draft at the moment. I’ll talk about that in a bit.
If you want to see the video version of this blog, please watch below.
Special edition of my poetry Audio book – The Poetry book of mental health caring
So during summer 2022, I published my first poetry book. This was my first attempt at what I felt would be focusing on the experiences of providing mental health care. One of the reasons of doing poetry is that you don’t have to really read a whole book to just sort of reach out to those who perhaps understand, in a sense of what’s it like to provide care for someone with mental ill health. Plus to also reach out to those who’ve never experienced it.
So I’m doing an audiobook project on my poetry, but with the added benefit of contributions from other carers who are activists or are poets who want to produce poetry on the carers experiences. So I’m hoping to publish in early 2023, January, February, by that time, that audiobook will be coming out.
Race, caring and mental health
The next book, which is not an audio book, will be in paperback form. I felt it was due time to come out. This is because I have been writing books close to two years now. I have also been running as carer groups, but two of them focus on ethnic carers coming from ethnic minority background, so obviously, they are providing care and support to someone experiencing some form of mental illness.
I’ve been meaning to develop a book like this for some time looking at how mental illness can impact on the family, on friends, not from the patient side. Let’s look at this new book closely. The book titled “Race, Caring and Mental Health”. From it’s first chapter, I often say to many people that it’s important to tell your story. With this book, I felt it even more important due to some of the tragic consequences that can happen to ethnic minority groups providing unpaid care. This is it’s not just within the mental health system as the book’s second chapter will be looking at discrimination and racism, and links to mental health, for the other chapters, they will focus on health inequalities and the structures. The book will explore the deadly roundabout regarding the repeat situations of those going in and out of the mental health system. Why does this occur?
I don’t have the answers and can only share my ideas of what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard, but I know what I’m learning about. I’d be really interested on people’s views of my new book, which is in draft form at the moment and I will probably change a couple of pages in the hope to release this around January 2023.
Providng Care and other Short Stories
Lastly my 6th piece of work will be an audiobook, similar to the project of the poetry audiobook. But this time I want to work towards fiction. Now, I’ve been writing two years now. Most of the books that I’ve been doing are not fiction at all. I mean, I suppose you could argue in some sense that poetry is looking at certain topics that may or may not happen. So this new audiobook will be my first attempt at fiction, including 20 short stories about unpaid care, here are some of the stories below.
This audio book will explore some of the following carer themes.
- Providing Care
Story about a woman finding out her husband has developed a form of mental illness, she now has to battle to become an unpaid carer.
- Digging out of a hole
A young man caring for his sister, but this time there are horrible things that make his life difficult.
- A family Affair
Story of a main carer feeling isolated by the family, everything is thrown at her and no one wants to help.
- Never thought it would be me
A female carer whose partner is caught in a serious accident, her life is turned upside down as she battles to provide care for him.
A carer thrown into anger and despair as she is let down time and time again, leading her to becoming angry.
- Just when I needed you
A story of carer peer support and why it is needed, a story that is more hopeful than previous stories.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a lovely holiday break.