Three workshops and a conference held throughout 2016-2018 will engage scholars, practitioners, and anyone interested or involved in creative interventions for young people in recovery from mental illness. Designed as knowledge exchange events, the workshops will explore contemporary uses of creativity for mental illness, whilst a concluding conference in 2018 will be open to a broader audience with webcasting available for international participants.

There is an attendance fund for postgraduates and early career researchers – please email Dr Carolyn Jess-Cooke ( for further information.

Collaboration is a crucial part of the project. The workshops will provide a unique opportunity to discuss best practice for creative writing pedagogy and research, particularly in relation to recovery. Each workshop will identify the methodologies and frameworks for effective creative writing techniques in recovery from mental illness; further, it will enable opportunities for further relationships between humanities and medicine to be created and enhanced. The challenges posed by creative writing in recovery require a diversity of investigative enquiry.

Workshop 1 (18th June 2016): Mapping the Territory: current uses of creativity for young people in recovery.

Guest speakers are confirmed as follows:
  • Lise Saffran, Director of the Master of Public Health Program at the University of Missouri
  • Colleen Milligan, Aware NI
  • Esther Pujolràs-Noguer, Lecturer in American and Post-Colonial Literature at the Autonomous University of Barcelona
This first workshop is dedicated to knowledge exchange about contemporary uses of creativity as an intervention for young people in recovery from mental illness. The first half of the session will be devoted to talks by guest speakers, and in the second half I’d be keen for all participants to share their own research and methodologies in smaller groups before joining in a roundtable discussion about some ways forward.

Workshop 2 (tbc 2017): Overcoming Challenges: creative problem solving in the field of mental health
Workshop 3 (tbc 2017): Re-exploring Recovery from Mental Illness: an exploration of case studies 

Conference (tbc 2018): Creative interventions for mental health