The International Society For Bipolar Disorder (ISBD) has awarded Emily the 2019 Mogens Schou Award For Public Service and Advocacy for her work in mental health.  Since publishing her autobiographical book ‘Start Over Again’ back in 2010, Emily has done many gigs for mental health hospitals and groups across the UK and been interviewed many times on BBC Radio talking about her own lived experience in the hope of combating the stigma of mental illness.

The ISBD says, “The ISBD Awards committee seeks to identify candidates for the Mogens Schou Award whose contributions, commitment and passion honor the legacy of Prof. Schou. We first became aware of your music and background through Ms. Marylou Selo, a past recipient of this Award, and after visiting your website, learning more about how your lived experience of bipolar disorder informs your art, and how you have made a point to leverage that to provide hope for those living with mental illness, it is clear that you embody the spirit of the Mogens Schou Award for Public Service and Advocacy.”

Emily will travel to the ISBD annual conference in Sydney, Australia in March to collect her award.  For more information about Emily’s work in mental health and her campaign to promote music for mental health, please visit www.musicformentalhealth.net.

One week to go until the start of Emily’s book tour to promote her new book of Buddhist poetry ‘Meditation Mind’.  These very intimate gigs in bookshops and Buddhist centres will be a mix of poetry readings and acoustic songs with Emily on guitar and her husband Christian Dunham on double-bass.  The hour-long set will include songs from Emily’s old albums that have rarely been performed plus a brand new song.  Emily will hold a short Q&A at the end of each performance.  She is touring Taunton, Oxford, Bridport, Cardiff, Manchester, Haslemere, Coventry, Frome, Bath, London and Bristol.  Book tickets

We’ve just posted some videos of Emily reading poems from her new book ‘Meditation Mind’.  Emily will be touring the UK in November and December playing very intimate gigs in bookshops and Buddhist centres, reading poems and singing acoustic songs with a short Q&A at the end.  Dates and details of these gigs are here.  Places are limited so please book early and please spread the word if you have friends or family in any of these places you think might like to come.  More videos will be posted on Emily’s social media over the coming weeks – you can follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Emily and Christian performed to a packed crowd at The Slaughtered Lamb in London on Saturday for the last night of her 2018 UK tour.  You can see photos of the gig on Emily’s Facebook page.

Emily is doing a special one-off gig on Saturday 27 October at Gaunts House in Wimborne before starting her book tour in November.  Dates and ticket links for all these gigs can be found here.

Dates for Emily’s UK tour to promote her new poetry book ‘Meditation Mind’ have been announced today.  These very intimate gigs in bookshops and Buddhist centres across the country will be a mix of poetry readings and songs by Emily on acoustic guitar accompanied by her husband Christian Dunham on double-bass.  There will be a short Q&A at the end.  Info and ticket links can be found here.  Please book early as places are limited.

Emily’s third book ‘Meditation Mind’ has just been published, a collection of poems inspired by her Buddhist meditation practice.  Written at a time when she was unable to play her instruments due to chronic tennis elbow, poetry was Emily’s creative outlet while she struggled with a deep, bipolar depression.  Desperate to do something creative while she couldn’t write or play songs, every morning after meditating she would write a poem in her journal.  These short, stream-of-consciousness poems form the basis of this collection.

The poems in ‘Meditation Mind’ are about life, the dharma (Buddha’s teachings) and our search for happiness.  Emily has practised Tibetan Buddhism for many years under the guidance of her teacher, the internationally renowned Buddhist scholar Lama Jampa Thaye.

‘Meditation Mind’ is available to order from all good bookshops, from Amazon or through her website.  To celebrate its publication, Emily is doing a book tour in the UK later this year.  Dates and details will be announced soon.

Emily’s visit to perform at Callington Road mental health hospital in Bristol on 5 July provoked a wonderful response from staff and patients:

“Many thanks for coming to Callington Road, Emily and performing for pretty much the entire duration of the tea party. You truly went above and beyond – especially in the ridiculous heat. I would like to thank you particularly for going on to the female PICU ward. For half an hour you completely changed the atmosphere in a truly bleak place. Your music and interaction with the patients inspired some incredibly traumatised and unwell women to step back into the present and remember that there is still hope. It was very appreciated by the staff and patients alike. You left a warm glow on that ward. Any chance you could make time to do a weekly acoustic set and song writing workshop there?! Only joking, many, many thanks.”  Alex Hiding (OT department) and all the staff on ECH and at Callington Road.

Read Emily’s blog about her visit to Callington Road and find out more about her work promoting music for mental health.