ReWrite - Creative Approaches to Engagement

by David Gilbert

October 29, 2018

This blog is unashamed marketing. I want to do more work in mental health and writing - my two passions. So I've put them together and....


If you want meaningful, effective engagement with patients and the public, why not try a more creative approach? ReWrite uses creative writing to improve dialogue between staff and users/patients and helps aid recovery for people who experience emotional distress or mental health problems.

We at InHealth Associates have thirty years of experience in Patient and Public Involvement and now offer an exciting new approach. As a poet and writer, I am bringing my expertise in engagement together with a creative approach to deliver two sorts of ReWrite workshops:
• ReWrite for dialogue
• ReWrite for recovery

I am looking for organisations to fund the following workshops.

ReWrite For Dialogue ©

ReWrite For Dialogue workshops bring together health professionals (clinical and support staff) with service users and their carers, to creatively share insights and learning about health service delivery and research.

By bringing people together in safe spaces, we are able to to nurture reflective dialogue and caring relationships between health service users and staff through poetry and spoken word, with a view to promoting inclusive partnerships.

This creative approach enables unique insight into ourselves, others and our collective wellbeing, giving a voice to those who often feel that they are not heard.

ReWrite For Recovery ©

ReWrite For Recovery is an opportunity for those who have been affected by life-changing illness, injury or disability to ‘re-write’ their own story. To reframe what has happened to them and to tell a different, perhaps more empowering narrative through creative writing.

About the workshops

These workshops focus on all forms of words – spoken and written, prose, poetry and lyrics, whatever inspires!

We have worked with mental health staff and users, patients and staff across other conditions (and, soon with people who have been homeless and offenders). Our themes are chosen carefully with clients and topics have included: 'safety'; what does being safe, or unsafe, mean to you? and ‘healing relationships’.

All our workshops include:

• Examples and readings of poetry, prose and/or spoken word
• Discussions and reflections
• Having a go: producing your own poetry or prose
• Sharing and celebration
• Tips on sustaining your practice
• Resources and further support

Who can participate?

• Health service users and carers
• Anyone who has a professional role in health service delivery or health-related research including clinical, research, managerial, support and administrative staff
• Those with a professional or service user interest in health and research
• In ReWrite For Dialogue, we try to ensure an equal mix of service users and staff at the workshop.

What will you get out of it?

• A safe space for conversations on all sorts of important healthcare issues
• Creative insights and different angles on how to improve services – problems reframed and a wider menu of potential solutions
• Staff and users/patients coming together to better understand each other – healing and trusting relationships
• Improved confidence of users/patients and heightened morale amongst staff
• In ReWrite for Recovery, people view their own lives differently so as to lay the foundations for well-being and getting back to reclaiming their own life
• Last but not least, an enhanced love for language and the written and spoken word

The final word goes to someone who participated in a recent workshop:

"Can I say how much I enjoyed the day. It was truly revelatory. I can’t believe that I actually wrote something in such a short time. You definitely sparked something in me. I’ve told countless people about the exercise and everyone would like to have a go! There’s obviously a big market out there for this type of experience".

Get in touch? Email: [email protected] or @DavidGilbert43 on Twitter.

(c) 2018 David Gilbert


All blog posts
what we do

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

patient leadership newsletter

Sign up to our Patient Leadership Newsletter and get a free eBook

When you sign up to the quarterly Patient Leadership Newsletter you will receive a free download of The Rise of Patient Leadership, an eBook collection of David Gilbert's most popular articles.

Get a free eBook of David Gilbert's most popular articles

Subscription Form (#8)