Healing Words Initiative: Unveiling the Power of Poetry for Collective Wellness

In a pioneering effort inspired by William Sieghart’s ‘The Poetry Pharmacy’, the Healing Words platform has emerged as a unique space where writers, artists, and mental health professionals collaborate to create prescriptive poetry for troubled minds. Spearheaded by poets and organizers Rantideb Mukhejee, Barnamala Roy, Ayesha Begum, Shreyoshee Gupta and Arindam Lahiri, Healing Words seeks to establish poetry clinics in various settings, harnessing the therapeutic potential of poetry for collective well-being. The inaugural poetry workshop, held on February 22, 2024, at Zoom-Tea-O-Graphy in Kolkata, marked the commencement of this groundbreaking initiative.

The TeamThe workshop witnessed collaboration with consultant psychologist Nilanjana Chatterjee from Anusharan Mental Health Wellness Clinic & Research Center. Nilanjana’s psychoanalytic insights into the responses received were instrumental in crafting personalized poetry for individuals. This integration of psychological expertise with artistic expression highlighted the interdisciplinary nature of Healing Words, emphasizing its commitment to holistic mental health practices.

The first major event of the Healing Words initiative unfolded on March 10 at Surfire The Coastal Cafe in Kolkata. Elocutionist Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee engaged in a conversation with psychologist Nilanjana Chatterjee. Commencing with a tribute to the late Ankur Roy Chowdhury, a multifaceted creative personality who recently passed away, the event featured the recitation of personalized poems by poets Barnamala Roy, Rantideb Mukherjee, Arindam Lahiri, and Ayesha Begum.

Notably, veteran film and TV actress Choiti Ghoshal delivered a special poetry recitation upon Mr. Chatterjee’s request. The event also showcased limited edition First Aid Kits for the Soul, including exclusively crafted Healing Words poems, hand-embroidered handkerchiefs from Delta Lives women participants in the Sundarbans, and mood-uplifting stationeries from Zoom Tea-O-Graphy. Delta Lives partnered with the initiative, while Aamar Bari and Indrani’s Kitchen sponsored the event, contributing to the success of this unique blend of art, psychology, and community engagement.