16th Jul, 2019

Former TV actor running writing sessions for those struggling with their mental health

Laura Kearns 16th Dec, 2018

A TV actor from Kenilworth is giving back to the community by running writing sessions for those struggling with their mental health.

Chris Jury is best known for playing Eric Catchpole in BBC’s Lovejoy but has been a writer and director since he left the show in 1994.

The former Leamington College for Boys pupil recently returned to live in Warwickshire and is continuing to put his writing talent to good use by helping those with mental health issues in the area.

He is running a free eight-week story-telling course which has been developed with mental health charity Springfield Mind and funded by a grant from Leamington Town Council. It comes after the course was recently run in Stratford and proved a hit.

Chris said: “All of us tell stories about ourselves – about the experiences that have tested and shaped us. These stories help make sense of our lives but we can sometimes create stories that turn out to be self-destructive.

“Using techniques of storytelling to explore, understand and re-imagine our life-problems can transform our sense of self-worth, change our relationships with others and provide us with a more positive vision of our future.

“By combining my experience of creative writing with the therapeutic experience of Springfield Mind, we have jointly developed a unique mental wellbeing programme for anyone struggling to manage, understand or change their lives.”

Chris came up with the idea after former writing course student Steve Norton – who previously suffered a mental breakdown – said screenwriting helped him through his life problems and had a ‘transformative’ effective on his sense of self.

He urged Chris to redevelop the course as a mental wellbeing programme for those with issues such as depression, anxiety, anger-management, loneliness, stress, addiction and phobias.

Steve now works with Chris running the sessions.

Chris added: “The course uses an introduction to screenwriting as a vehicle for exploring and re-imagining life-problems.

“It’s a uniquely stimulating, fun and free way to reflect on life’s problems. The feedback has been very positive and very moving.”

The workshops take place every Tuesday at the Springfield Mind Centre on Brunswick Street. They will run between 10am and 1pm with the course beginning on January 25.

Email enquiries@springfieldmind.org.uk or call 01789 298615 for more information.

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