A Trowbridge shopping centre will today (Tuesday, September 10)use poetry to open up a conversation about the impact of mental health issues on people in its local community.

Ahead of next month’s Mental Health Awareness month, The Shires Shopping Centre is partnering with James McInerney, the Northampton poet and author of ‘Bloom’, ‘In between the lines’ ‘Red’ and ‘The pieces that collide’ to offer help and support to people in the community who may need it.

Since 2008, James has written poetry to raise awareness of subjects such as depression and mental health in an attempt to help those who are currently suffering.

A selection of James’ work will be displayed in the centre during the whole of September, in the lead up to the national Mental Health Awareness Month in October.

Mr McInerney said: “I want my poetry to show people that what they are going through is happening to many of us and they are not alone.

“There are many taboo subjects that people are scared to approach but we have to talk about them, it is healing.

"I use poetry as the voice. I suffered depression and poetry saved me, it is an amazing outlet that I want others to seek some comfort in.”

In addition to meaningful poems being displayed in and around the centre, The Shires will host a mental health drop-in session today Tuesday September 10 from 11am to 3pm.

The service, which is run by Trowbridge Users Group, is open to everyone using local mental health services in Trowbridge and the surrounding area.

The sessions offer visitors a chance to talk over a coffee and join in with activities such as art therapy and games.

Sarah Moore, The Shires Centre manager, said: “With the help of our local user group and James McInerney, we are able to offer our local community the support that they may be looking for.

“Using James’ work and the powerful words he’s written is a subtle way of helping those who may be suffering. We hope that visitors to our centre will see us as a place where they feel safe and cared for.”

For more information on James McInerney’s work please visit https://jamesmcinerney.wixsite.com/poetry.

For more information about The Shires and how the centre is supporting mental health, visit https://shirescentre.co.uk