Category Archives: Creative Corner

Poems, Art, thoughts about unpaid carers

New poems by Matthew McKenzie

Here are two more poems from my upcoming book “The Poetry book of mental health caring”.

The first poem focuses on wellbeing for carers who are caring for someone suffering mental illness. To be fair it does not actually have to be mental illness, but the main point is the person is thrown into becoming a carer.

The next poem is more psychological. The poem called “The Mirror” asks the carer to reflection on their identity, especially when the carer is judgemental about themselves. I certainly was very judgemental about trying to provide unpaid care and at times I still am critical.

Poem Time – Carers and co-production

Welcome to another blog post by carer rep, author and poet Matthew McKenzie. I have just released another poem called “Being Part of it”. As an unpaid carer I was involved in many co-production and involvement meetings, especially to help shape Health & Social care services.

Having unpaid carers and service users become involved in shaping services will help provide services that have such stakeholders in mind. There has often been criticism of where professionals design services and those services do not work out well because the patients or families and carers were not involved in such design.

At those involvement meetings, I often thought how could I express my experiences to other unpaid carers and with this poem, I now have the method to share my experiences.

To view my poem please watch the video below.

Listen to me – Poem by Matthew Mckenzie

Welcome to my latest poem off my poetry project for 2022. My focus is on unpaid carers who look after someone suffering mental illness. Many unpaid mental health carers up and down the country sometimes get frustrated when it comes to being heard. I myself have experienced this, although do not get me wrong. There are times when those in the mental health services can actually support and listen to families, friends and carers.

It is not always the problem of not being listen to or not being heard. Many carers can be confused about what their carer’s rights are. If mental health services are under strain then there will be situations when mental health professionals will not have time for carers and will not often remind carers of their rights.

Sometimes carers are aware that there is nothing the professional can do, but they would still like to be heard on the situation, there might even be a slight chance that something mentioned from the carer can give some hope.

Feel free to check out my poem off my YouTube channel below.

The Carer’s Assessment – New poem by Matthew Mckenzie

Welcome back to another blog by former unpaid mental health carer Matthew Mckenzie. I am working on my carer awareness poetry for 2022. Poetry can be great for creativity, expression and even for campaigning.

I have done around 60 poems for the book I am going to release later on this year, the poetry book will contain around 150 poems.

For this particular poem, it is about a recent download of a carers assessment and my attempt at filling it in. At first I am nervous about filling in such forms because it asks such personal and thought provoking questions. After a while, I find the form gets easier to fill in, but I query is it worth filling the form.

This poem called “The Carer’s Assessment” can be views from the video below.

There will be times carer’s can’t be bothered to fill them in because they don’t get anything out from it and its engagement to carers can just be a tick-box exercise.

It’s still advisable to fill in carers assessments since it is a good way to be recorded and identified as a carer.

Latest poem by Carer Elsie Cronin

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‘Why’ By Elsie Cronin

Why don’t you see a Mum doing her best?
You see it differently from the rest

From your madness I take the flak
And patiently wait for you to come back

The worry you cause, the tears I cry
Just to end up asking why?

Why is it so wrong for me to care?
What is it you don’t want to share?

Be careful how you play this out
Madness or not I will shout

I have got your best interests at heart
So come on – make a start

Start to accept with grace
The love and care that I give without a trace

A trace of tiredness and frustration at your place……….
In the mental health rat race

When you come around, as you will
You may well find I’ve swallowed “the pill”

The “pill” of rejection that I receive
Each time you give it there is no reprieve

No reprieve
And so I grieve
Oh well hopefully you will reflect
On the one who sees a speck

A speck of you from long ago
That keeps on making me want to show

Show that I love you without conditions
With all my heart and soul

To you I pledge this rendition

Poem – She Never Gave up

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Welcome back to my carer blog.   I guess it has been a while, but it is creative corner time.  I have received a lovely poem from an unpaid carer who networks with our forums from the NHS Oxleas services.

SHE NEVER GAVE UP

The challenges were bad
They were ever so mad
A Son she loved – lost
In the abyss of madness – tossed
To and fro from pillar to post
The Son she once knew now a ghost

SHE NEVER GAVE UP

Despite being banished from the lips of her Son
She faced the choice and won
Won the many fights but not the War
Against his brain so horribly sore
Deep inside she could see
The ghost of her Son fighting to be free

SHE NEVER GAVE UP

Poem by – Elsie Cronin

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Influential poem from Patrick Lee

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Welcome one and all to a new blog for the month of August. I have to apologise for not putting anything up for some weeks now since I have been really busy doing a lot of carer campaigning. To be honest I have not had much time to provide feedback from the 4 carer forums in South London.

I have also just recently come back from a lovely forum held over in West London, from the West London Collaborative, they do excellent work over there helping to build communities.

Going back to this particular post, I want to dedicate this blog post for its creative content. A while ago I met Patrick who provides peer support for those using the mental health services. He spoke to me how he used the power of poetry to help others express themselves. Poetry can be very creative and powerful in a non-combative way. Sometimes just saying things is hard enough, but if we use the power of poetry then anything is possible.

I have recently created a video about one of his poem’s which is from his book “The Nearly Man”. The Poem from the video is called “Cardboard City Dweller”. You can watch the full video below

 

Patrick has released several books of poetry, let me know if you want to try catch him in order to hear more about his work. I hope to do some more blogging real soon.

Thanks for dropping by.

Being There

Being there

Being there because we care
Being there because we dare
Being there to help to with the journey
Being there because of the fear

Being there to because it takes time
Being there to hope your fine
Being there to catch mental illness early
Being there to stand in the firing line

Being there to try to advocate
Being there hoping its not too late
Being there due to all the worry
Being there to avoid the fate

Being there to help to help take the blows
Being there during the highs and the lows
Being there because no one else wants to
Being there because who else..I suppose

Being there because I care
Being there because I dare
Being there to help to share the journey
Being there because of we fear

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