Updated: May 19, 2021
Lots of us are looking for a little peace from the troubles we carry with us – the traumas, the worries, the sadness and the anger – that in excess are such a heavy burden to bear. There are things we can do to help with this. Physical exercise, cleaning and tidying, psychotherapy, counselling, as well as various forms of prescription medication are all viable treatments that can offer help to those who need it. It is my belief that the use of art and literature in combination with medical advice and treatment can provide another helping hand.
That is where Creative Compass comes in. As with so many things that matter, this will not be an example of ‘one size fits all’. Everyone is different and, everyone will require different things at different times. There is no doubt that there are times when we require comfort and escape as a coping mechanism. At others, it will be more constructive to confront our troubles in the abstract way art and literature and, by extension, imagination allows. With that abstract confrontation we become more able to empathize with feelings of sadness, fear, anguish, trauma or anger. This, in turn, leaves us more able to empathize with ourselves and our troubles.
Each work that is recommended on this site will be separated into different categories and sub-categories. In this way, there will be music, films, video games and books that are suggested as an escape – something gentle or comforting for days when that is the only way we feel we can cope. There will also be music, games, films, books and art that will be suggested to confront and examine sadness, grief, trauma, anger, or indeed any number of the various forms and effects that are part of our personal map of mental health.
Beyond this, and in the weeks and months ahead, a Creative Compass forum will be opening, allowing members of the community to discuss art and literature, share ideas and write their own recommendations. There will also be a further creative element, where community members will be encouraged to share their own art and literature, with the finest examples being offered a place on this blog too.
But that is for the future. For now, you will find three recommendations: a book to escape into, a record to channel anger and wisdom in equal measure, and a film offering an understanding of who we are and whether we can move beyond trauma to become something more. Between them, that feels like a decent starting point but there will be many more suggestions for you to examine and engage with as we move forward and do our best to make a positive difference to your mental health.
Take care of yourselves,
James Eddy – March 2021