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Paula Byrne: Literature and Mental Health

Jack Ranson

Basha Wells-Dion gained an exclusive interview with author Paula Byrne last week - hear the full interview here.


After World War One, soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress were advised by doctors to read books by Jane Austen. This potent healing quality of words was discussed by writer Paula Byrne in a recent talk at St Catharine’s College Shirley Society. Sometimes authors can express emotions in a way that sufferers of mental illnesses may not be able to do themselves, enabling them to communicate their experience and helping others to understand the condition. The process of creative writing itself can also be cathartic. Putting feelings into words can help people come to terms with trauma, or difficult emotions. Byrne hopes to establish a charity that will support those with mental illnesses via both the reading and writing of literature.

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