Support Groups

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Mad Poets Society


The Mad Poets Society is a project by Awareness Canterbury – a network of people with lived experience of mental health or addiction challenges who organise systemic advocacy and mental health awareness projects, and develop opportunities for people with lived experience to find their voice and make a difference.

In 2015 the Mad Poets Society ran free monthly writers workshops and open mic nights for people in our communities and is planning to be back in 2016 with more open mic events and workshops.

Mad Poetry Open Mic Nights run every third Friday of the month from February to November (breaking for Christmas) at Beat St Café in the city centre, Christchurch. We kick off at 7pm with some music, followed by short sets of poetry and anyone who comes along is welcome to put their name down to have a go at reading. People who get up read poems, sometimes their own, sometimes another person’s poem that has inspired them, sing songs they’ve written, or share other writing or philosophising.

We set out to make the open mic nights a space where anyone can have a go, and particularly welcome people with lived experience of mental health or addiction issues. The open mic nights are a safe, friendly space where we love seeing people have a go whether they are regular open mic attendees or have never shared their writing before. Everyone is really supportive of each other and it’s not about being the best poet, it’s about sharing what’s true for us.

The Writers Workshops have also been running monthly till November 2015 and we aim to put on another three or four in 2016. These are open to anyone who identifies as having lived experience of mental health or addiction issues. Workshops are free to attend and we provide all materials and lunch so people just have to bring themselves along! Workshops run Saturday mornings from 10.30am till 1.00pm, and venue details are provided to people who get in touch to register (we only ask people to register for catering purposes, there’s no cost involved.)

For more info about these events feel free to get in touch at:

or by calling (03) 366 8288,

or check out our facebook page here: