Foster Care

It is so important that the world has foster carers. In any give year, there are 69,000 children in the UK who are placed in foster care and need someone other than their parents to take care of them.

Read this story about the amazing work that foster carers do. This is Itiesha’s story, a 32 year old foster carer from Bristol, UK:

I Became a Foster Carer at 26

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Mental Health And Literature

There is a great tradition of mental illness in fiction. The most memorable book on this topic is Charlotte Brontë’s, Jane Eyre. Since the first publication of Brontë’s classic novel in 1847, our understanding of mental health has changed, considerably. Women who have a mental health problem are not locked away in attics, or spoken about by other people with fear or contempt, in third person narrative. No longer is mental illness seen as a disease, curse or punishment. 

Contemporary women have a voice, to tell their own stories. Stories that are honest, real and absorbing. I am an author who has written a romance book that delves into the subject of mental illness. My debut novel is called UnShatter Me. It was published by US Publisher, UrbanEdge in August 2015. UnShatter Me tells the riveting story of nineteen year old Alena Pavlis, a college student who is trying to heal from a traumatic childhood experience. The novel explores her deep-rooted issues, the challenges she faces with PTSD and the problems she has in her relationship with boyfriend and fellow student, Phillip Gregson. The book shows Alena’s momentous journey to recovery and how she tackles her past demons. It is a raw, gutsy story with a strong romantic thread running throughout. 

Some people say I am brave for writing this type of book. I say, I am doing my part to raise awareness of a very important subject, that can sometimes be misrepresented in the media and press. In the literary world, authors have an opportunity to tell the true story of their hero or heroine, without negative stereotypes being played up or emphasised. We, as authors, give those with mental illness a real voice and platform to share their stories and experiences.

So far, I have read one book on mental illness that I found immensely compelling. This book is Prozac Nation, by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Prozac Nation is a really good read and I highly recommend it. Reading this book helped me to understand what having a serious mental health problem actually felt like. I got so deep into the psyche of the female protagonist and was so connected to her. As an aloof nineteen year old undergrad reading this book, I could totally relate to what the lead character was saying. 

These are the five books on mental health that I would like to read this year:

1) She’s Come Undone, by Wally Lamb 

2) Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, by Chanequa Walker-Barnes  

3) Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf; Maureen Howard

4) I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, by Joanne Greenberg 

5) Girl, Interrupted, by Susanna Kaysen 

 
It is important that authors like myself write books on mental health and mental illness, to raise awareness in today’s society and to allow those who do not ordinarily get a chance to speak, to do just that. 

Here are my links if you want to know more about me:

 My website: http://www.michelledianalowe.com

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/MichelleDianaLowe
Twitter Page: @michelle_d_lowe

My debut novel, UnShatter Me

UnShatter Me by Michelle Diana Lowe

Never let the past win!

As the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women took place on Wednesday 25th November 2015, I wanted to give an important message to women and girls across the globe, who have experienced violence at some stage of their lives:

You can reclaim your future and heal from the pain. It may be a struggle, it might not be a walk in the park, but with determination, faith, hope and the right support network, you can overcome difficult and traumatic experiences and you can enjoy a bright future and a fulfilling life.

On this journey of healing, you are not alone. There will always be help and support out there. This support could be in the form of friends, family, counsellors, helplines and organisations. Never be afraid to ask your support network and professionals for help, advice or guidance. 

Through singing and by getting help from her family, friends and professionals, Alena Pavlis, the teenage protagonist in my novel, UnShatter Me, is able to heal and recover from her traumatic past.

The main message in my book is: Never allow anyone or anything to steal your future. Reclaim your destiny. Start today.

Together, we can end the violence against women and girls.

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