Through my mental health research I have been reading The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, attended the Collective Trauma Summit 2020 and studied/studying a second Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health and Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Mental Health in Children and Young People. I am also part of the Creative Well programme run by the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance for arts and wellbeing practitioners. This research feeds into my practice as a curator for Dwell Time, board member for YVAN looking at the impact of Covid-19 on artistic practice and my ongoing artistic practice.
So many colleagues and friends are struggling with processing thoughts and emotions into speech, and me too. What we’ve been through and going through is huge. We’re experiencing collective trauma of a pandemic on top of individual traumas. When our executive brain function is compromised through a trauma response, the speech part of our brain (Broca’s area) shuts down in part or fully as we go into flight, flight or freeze (survival) mode [The Body Keeps the Score]. Hence the terms ‘speechless’ and ‘lost for words’. The conversations we are having about the impact of Covid-19 on art practice are diverse and multifaceted but this impact on dialogue is really important. We’re social creatures and the very thing restricted to us is socialising. This is a core problem of the mental health pandemic.
Keep talking. Keep making if that helps. Dwell Time has a directory of mental health support services if you are struggling: https://dwelltimepress.wordpress.com/support/