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Read my mind

Read my mind is a library project which encourages men who are either experiencing depression or low mood levels, to take part in social reading activities. Funded by Norfolk County Council Public Health, the project is for men aged 18+ and explores whether there is a link between reading and improving men’s mental health and well-being.

The project is currently being delivered online and the types of activities we’ve offered so far include shared reading, poetry workshops and reading for wellbeing sessions.

Activities

"How's Your Father?" a Common Lot Theatre performance

A free show about challenged and challenging dads.

We present four stories about men's lives as fathers, what happens when they come up against different challenges and what they discover about being a dad.

The play has been created using UEA research on fathers' experiences of local authority children's services, the family court and the views of other local fathers.

Our aim is to open up the conversation about what it means to be a father, what challenges fathers face and why fathers matter, for all of us.

The show will be followed by a discussion with its cast and creators, to further explore the issues they present.

Contains strong language.

Performance followed by refreshments and a Q and A session.

To book your free place please phone 01603 774777 or email libraries.iconnect@norfolk.gov.uk and tell us which date/library you would like to attend. Also, please tell us the number of spaces you need.

The performance will take place at the below libraries:

Doors open at 7.15pm. The performance starts at 7.30pm.

Reading for wellbeing sessions on Zoom

These are relaxed social events to chat about reading for wellbeing and share book recommendations. There is also an opportunity for you to read aloud an excerpt from a book but this is purely voluntary, you can sit back and listen if you prefer. The sessions are for everyone aged 18+.

Reading for Wellbeing events take place over Zoom fortnightly on Thursdays at 7pm.

The next sessions will take place on:

  • Thursday 21 October
  • Thursday 4 November
  • Thursday 18 November
  • Thursday 2 December
  • Thursday 16 December

The sessions will then continue to run fortnightly. 

Find out more by joining our Read My Mind Facebook group.

To book your free place please email libraries.iconnect@norfolk.gov.uk and we'll send you a personal Zoom invite.

Partners

We would like to develop the project by working with partners in farming, engineering and manual labouring industries. To find out more about how you can work with us on the Read my mind project, email libraries.iconnect@norfolk.gov.uk.

Participants

All Read my mind participants will receive two free books by Matt Haig and a short welcome questionnaire to fill out, the questionnaire provides an opportunity for you to let us what kind of reading activities you would like to take part in.

If you would like to take part in Read my mind, or for more information email libraries.iconnect@norfolk.gov.uk.

Podcasts

A series of Read my mind podcasts have been created, which feature participants of the project.

Exploring my mind

The first podcast is a poetry workshop, led by Norfolk playwright James McDermott. You can take part in the workshop or listen along. Listen to the Read my mind poetry workshop podcast on Soundcloud.

Men's shared reading

The second Podcast is a shared reading session, participants discuss the benefits that reading fiction for pleasure can have and talk about books that have helped with their own wellbeing. Also includes some poetry and extracts from Matt Haig’s book ‘Notes on A Nervous Planet’ being read aloud.  Listen to the Read my mind men's shared reading podcast on Soundcloud.

Poetry workshop for men - exploring my masculinity

Norfolk playwright James McDermott leads us through his second poetry workshop which was recorded on Zoom with participants from Read My Mind. You can take part in the workshop or listen along.

Listen to the Read my mind exploring my masculinity poetry workshop podcast on Soundcloud

Recommended Reads

Throughout the project participants have recommended books which they’ve enjoyed or found to be beneficial to their mental health and wellbeing.  The books can be reserved to collect from your local library.  The booklist also includes titles available as eBooks and eAudio books.

Browse the Read my mind book list.

Find out more about our eBook and eAudio service.

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