mental health | creative writing | music | photos
I'm a freelance writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. In my 20s I was sectioned under the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984, spending time in an Intensive Care Unit. I was placed on long-term anti-psychotic meds (Lithium) for the next 30 years.
Creative writing and music have played a vital role in my continued wellbeing. Through the Scottish Book Trust I've run writing workshops in schools and community settings, including groups for people with mental health issues, recovering addicts, and homeless individuals. I've also spoken about my life's journey in HMP Barlinnie and Saughton.
This website is dedicated to promoting positivity through writing, storytelling, and musical appreciation. Blogs and articles cover diverse issues related to mental health, as well as wider issues in society and popular culture.
Scottish Action for Mental Health
This year I joined a 12-week programme entitled The Changing Room at Hibernian FC's Easter Road Stadium, organised by Scottish Action for Mental Health. There are similar meetings at senior clubs across Scotland, providing fans with a safe and welcoming environment where they can feel encouraged to share a wide range of mental health experiences. Our first alumni event was held at Hampden Stadium in October 2022, where participants of similar programmes across Scotland gathered to hear inspirational speakers and share personal stories.
Music + exercise = wellbeing
Everyone's mental outlook was impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Since lockdown I've been enjoying long walks, relishing Scotland's beautiful landscapes against a backdrop of uplifting playlists in my headphones. I write regular blogs about the revitalising impact of nature and music, and you can check them out here, and also see @markfleming_embra.
1976 - Growing Up Bipolar
1976 - Growing Up Bipolar is a disturbing, but darkly humorous and life-affirming mental health memoir by Mark Fleming, a Scottish writer and musician. Published on Tuesday 23 August, paperback copies are available to order from most retailers, including Blackwell's and Waterstones. The ebook can be downloaded from Kobo, Nook, Scribd, and Hoopla. Further information on this memoir is available here: 1976. There are also links to excerpts depicting the stages of bipolar I experienced, from the low of manic depression to the high of mania.