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Yesterday Dwell Time interviewed one of our HOOT workshop participants Mary. We discussed in advance that she would talk to us about her bereavement of her son who “walked in front of a train 16 years ago” in her words. It was raw and it was painful. If she gives us permission to broadcast the interview it will come with all the content warnings. Amongst the impact of relatable grief, in her words, was the power that our workshop gave to unlock this burden and barriers she has in talking about her experience. She talked about stuff she wasn’t able to talk about for 16 years, she said. We said in advance that we’re ‘just artists’ – we’re not trained in mental health or therapy or counselling.

I’m now enrolled on a level 2 mental health college course but there’s a continual debate as to whether paperwork qualifications actually equip people to deal with this subject matter or whether lived experience is the only real qualification.