I have been with Drawing and Talking for 2 years now as Customer Relationship Manager. My previous roles in sales have always involved dealing with people and building connections. I love working for a company that is so passionate about supporting our children and young people who are struggling for whatever reason. The Book Club evolved after a meeting one morning when we (the office) were discussing our own difficulties in our lives. At the time I was reading (a lot), which was not a natural or easy thing for me to do due to my dyslexia, I came up with the suggestion of a book club concentrating on Mental Health, Well Being and Parenting. It seemed a great way to connect with like-minded people, promote awareness and continue with a new found passion for reading. So Cath being Cath said ‘Great, so when are YOU going to have that up and running by?’
We started with 5 members (the team in the office!) and now with nearly 1000 members, we have just launched a shiny new Instagram page @thementalhealthbookclub.
Being a single mother of 4 children I have first-hand experience of how the pressures of the modern world can affect my own mental health as well as theirs. I haven’t always been an avid reader, my passion for reading grew when my marriage broke down just over four years ago. There were lots of questions that I needed answers to, and I was able to find some of these through reading books or personal blogs. I read to understand myself, other people and how to thrive in this fast-paced modern world. I’m also fascinated by the human brain and how people react in certain situations. Reading books on subjects like trauma, personality disorders, mindfulness, mental health and parenting gives me insight, knowledge and more understanding. In turn, I am more equipped and open to deal with what life throws at me. I have found it’s true what they say, “knowledge really is power.”
As I said earlier, I have not always been a fan of reading and this is why it is so ironic that I run a book club!! As a child I never really enjoyed reading, scrap that, I don’t think I could actually read until I left primary school and even then, it was a struggle. I couldn’t spell either, I still remember the fear of Friday spellings tests, every week sitting there trying my best to spell a word correctly and getting it handed back every week with no correct answers or very few. I was/am dyslexic, this was never assessed and unsurprisingly back then was never not picked up on! Luckily, we are in different times now and although we still have a long way to go, we have come a long way from when I was at school 30+ years ago! Becoming a mother, I knew I had to get over my fear of reading as soon as my first daughter was born. Reading would become part of our lives either with play or the bedtime story. Once my kids went to school, and they started to learn to read and write I also found my reading started to improve. Going back to basics relearning the sounds, phonics and reading regularly enabled me to find a love of reading. I am also very aware that I want my children to be able to read as well as they possibly can in order for it to not to hold them back. The thought of them finding themselves staring at a blank sheet of paper willing the spellings to come out or looking at words on a page and not being able to decipher them was motivation enough to continue on my journey.
If you would like to join, have any recommendations or have a look at our latest read then you can find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/2062551240654039/?epa=SEARCH_BOX or Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thementalhealthbookclub/?hl=en