Hi. I decided that I would start a project like Head Lines NZ to fill in a gap I perceived, in resources promoting mental health in New Zealand. Writing to heal is a way for people who have been or are going through a challenging time. Head Lines NZ is a place for you to publish your poetry online and in print.
Sometimes the ‘system’ does not adequately address some of our more personal and intimate feelings in a non judgemental way. Often times our stories are repeated to several people in the public system, written down in records that are kept forever and a day, and sometimes our issues are misunderstood. Judgements can be made that stick. Then funding runs out.
A lot of us dont have huge amounts of money to spend seeing a long term professional psychotherapist, psychologist or psychiatrist privately to build a long standing healing relationship for us to build trust. Writing to heal, is not an unknown strategy. Many of us have already figured out that art heals and we practice it almost daily.
Art helps us to release our subconscious reality in the here and now and we get to choose how and when to express it. I know I find peace, a sense of achievement and an emotional release from participating with my self through art. I write, paint, draw, sing and make Copic books. But I am a writer first and foremost.
Head Lines NZ offers you a space to publish your poetry and your art, as you see fit. We are all of like mind and we each experience our own lived realities. We each have our own unique ways to heal. We know what works for us. I am not here to judge you or your experiences as I too have my own issues to work through.
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Social Work) from Massey University, and two Graduate Certificates in Mental Health from UNITEC in Child & Adolescent and Dual Diagnosis, among other qualifications. I am considering doing a Masters in Creative Writing.
I have also been published in print and online in both New Zealand and Australia in Side Stream, Black Mail Press, Live Lines Anthology, Tracks Magazine, Red Magazine and other publications. When I return to New Zealand (from Australia) I make the time to recite at Poetry Live, in Auckland, New Zealand.
Head Lines NZ is a safe place for you to publish your art and writing with the aim of having your work immortalised in print. That’s my job. To try to get you all published officially. You will all receive a free copy. You can use your real name or a pseudonym, however I encourage you to own your work and be proud of your art and include yourself in a huge and diverse community of like minded people here.
Some of our contributors are well known in certain circles, some are like you and I, but we all have something in common. We have each experienced times where we have had to learn to manage our mental health. We are not alone.
Jodine Derena Butler
Head Lines NZ