‘Basket of Souls’ by Nettie Edwards

On this page you will find short excerpts from some of the pieces in Dandelions and Bad Hair Days to illustrate the breadth of writing, the different experiences and the inspiration and support it can offer.

Mental ill-health has always been a defining part of my family. Perhaps not in an extreme way, more as background music. My gran experienced depression and anxiety, but of course you didn’t call it that then, you just got on with things and suppressed any difficult feelings with plenty of strict routines and good honest hard work…

Jo Middleton – On sense, sensibility & living with an anxious family 


For me, depression was for other people. I simply didn’t have time for it. And I thought as I had nothing to be sad about that I would be immune. I didn’t realise that depression is also bound up in stress, adrenalin and overexertion – in essence, it’s the body’s way of getting a very important message through. And I got the message, loud and clear. 

An interview with journalist Mark Rice-Oxley, author of Underneath the Lemon Tree


S.I.S.N.M was born on 4th April 2011. I created a page on Facebook in the hope I would get 50 members if I was lucky. No way could I ever have predicted what happened next! It seems my hunch was right; by October 2011 I had 500+ people coming to use my page, saying that I had saved their life, people felt like they belonged and how some had been alone for a long long time. This made me feel both touched and happy that I had achieved what I had set out to do.

Nic Elgey – Founder of S.I.S.N.M (Suffer In Silence No More)  on how supporting others can save us all


Sybil eventually had to be institutionalised, at the age of 14.  In the course of six years, she was to experience two adolescent units, an adolescent therapeutic community and, finally, an adult mental health ward in Essex.  Her confused inner torment during the early years of her institutionalisation was only revealed to us by reading, after her death, her written account of her years at the second unit, the Bethlem Royal…

Lois Chaber Why?–A Complex Tragedy


When the fog comes floating in from the sea

It’s time to sit down and wait

Turn on the lights, wrap up warm

Stay just where you are; do not fight.

For like fog, and darkness and the bully’s wrath

This too, like all things, shall pass.

From  Like a cold wind by Vivienne Tufnell


I need to talk, not text talk, not cyber talk, not telephone talk, but face-to-face talk,

I need to feel the presence, hear the reply, to sense the mood,

I need to see the eyes, the lips, the face, hands and body talk,

Then why today of all days is there no one, not a soul to talk to‼

From The Law of Sod by Chris Rugg


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