Depression affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men, but only a small percentage of sufferers consult a doctor and stigma prevents many from talking openly about their illness.

It’s for reasons like this that a unique book will be published on April 26th. “Black Rainbow” is Rachel Kelly’s powerful and acclaimed account of her long and difficult struggle with depression. It is an honest but surprising account which will provide rare insight and practical advice to anyone who has also experienced mental health problems.

But as well as a personal memoir, it is also a book which offers hope to others, by showing the way in which the healing words of poetry helped Rachel to overcome her illness. In doing so, the book can help others through dark times, by showing that recovery is possible and that poetry – or other forms of art – may be part of the solution. As Rachel says, “prescribing words instead of pills” can be a powerful remedy.

The story behind “Black Rainbow” is powerful. In 1997, Rachel – a working mother and successful Times journalist – went from feeling mildly anxious to being completely unable to function within the space of three days. As Rachel vividly describes it, a “trapdoor” opened up beneath her, just as it can underneath any of us. The book is the tale of her long and uneven road to recovery, and features 40 of the poems that gave her solace during her illness and recovery.

Demonstrating her commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues, Rachel has taken the generous step of donating her profits to the charities United Response and SANE. She is also working closely with each of them on projects that will contribute to a public conversation about mental health.


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