Read a summary of my current book: click the link

CSSMH Summary Roberta McDonnell 2014

Read a sample chapter: click the link

Creativity and Social Support in Mental Health: Service Users’ Perspectives [April 2014],

UK: Palgrave Macmillan


Creativity and Social Support in Mental Health explores service users’ lived experiences of mental health recovery within a day-centre setting where creative activity and social support were key aspects of the service. These two facets, creative activity and social support are established as conducive to mental health, particularly when in partnership with one another and when there is a venue in which to gather on a regular and frequent basis. McDonnell argues that the uplifting effects of creative activities such as art, music, and creative reading and writing (bibliotherapy), alongside the communality incorporated into the general ethos and social setting of many of the projects cited, are a positive force for change and that resource allocation and integrated care models should reflect this new paradigm. These findings are situated within a framework that takes into account current publicised debates on the nature of psychiatry and mental health care and suggests that creativity and social support are at least as important as mainstream medical treatment, especially within a recovery and health promotion model.


Read a Short Story by Roberta McDonnell

Reflexion 2009 CLASHED

Past Publications

  • Check out my LinkedIn profile for papers and reports on mental health, research, short stories and fiction.
  • My largest piece of published research is a report on research priorities for therapies professions in Ireland, at HRB 2010 

The Front Room

Rosed walls and green-glossed frames,
Then seems now and now seems then.
A chain of denizens,
Each an era etches.
Granda’s tea-bowl, blue encircled,
Held warmly in cupped hands.
On the nearby chair, a plastic-red basin,
Emitting its steamy, soaped vapour.
Then Beatle suits and Beatle boots-
Stove-hot iron and polish.
Granny’s messages on the road,
While Banana Splits entrance me.
Now, Granny’s “Ma”, green snuff scented,
Enscourged by wax and Paddy.
Last, tribute paid by family of three, within those walls of ardour.

Roberta McDonnell


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: With Music in Mind and Memory | Subliminal Spaces
  2. Trackback: Along the Way with Author Roberta McDonnell, PhD | A Life Inspired
  3. Trackback: Professor Dinesh Bhugra on refreshing psychiatry | Subliminal Spaces
  4. Sandra Harriette
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 15:52:49

    Nevermind! 😀 I see it now on The Front Room



    • Roberta McDonnell
      Nov 18, 2013 @ 15:55:34

      Hi Sandra, so great to meet you on all these platforms and yes social media is wonderful! Enjoying catching up with you and thanks for dropping by 🙂



      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 15:56:12

        Certainly ❤


      • Roberta McDonnell
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:01:43

        I’m not practising (yet) Sandra, I have been out of nursing for a while and am gradually building up my therapy qualifications again. Meantime I am writing across a few different genres and learning social media / e-commerce. Hoping to start Level 4 Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy next year and take on voluntary clients under supervision. Or I might set up some creativity workshops for local youth, in line with a Foundation we are discussing, depends how funding goes.
        Are you in practice yourself?


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:06:53

        No, but I’m always looking for ways to synergize with other creative people in order to build up a world centered on heart consciousness and balanced left-right brain thinking. I plan on doing some workshops myself, even digital ones on Google+ and such, but I’m still working on building my network on that site. It takes time.
        Have you collaborated with anyone online before?


      • Roberta McDonnell
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:23:39

        Brilliant! Looking in now – Synergize is my favourite word by the way 🙂 I’m in the exploratory stage with social media, there is one therapist I’m in touch with though, who wants to set up a skype hangout on Google+ which I’m invited to but am struggling a little with my skype set up – still working on it. Her name is Mary Alice Long and her practice is Play=Peace. You’ll find her on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter, as well as the website. Sounds like we have a community! 🙂


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:26:03

        Ooooh I like that name. Community indeed. Google+ (to my knowledge) can be independent of Skype. You should be able to set it up as long as you have a web cam. That reminds me: I have done tutorials for fam and friends on little things I know how to do, but I guess I take for granted. It’s motivation to continue doing my work and sharing it because it’s valuable to someone. Keep me posted and let me know if you have any questions about it. You can email me or hit me up on Google+


      • Roberta McDonnell
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:36:36

        Thanks so much! Let’s talk soon, all the best for now 🙂


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:37:10

        Certainly 🙂


      • Roberta McDonnell
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 17:01:08

        I signed up for your email newsletter by the way, and would also be very happy to participate in ‘Along the Way’ Thank You 🙂


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 17:01:59

        You made my day, Roberta. I’ll email you a link to a cloud file document in which you can answer a series of questions.


      • Roberta McDonnell
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 17:03:06

        And you made mine, thank you Sandra 🙂


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 17:05:19

        Glad I could!


      • Roberta McDonnell
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:06:08

        Oh my goodness Sandra, I just jolted my memory of your lovely site which is as your title suggests, inspired and inpiring! Your work looks wonderful, especially liking the creative journaling page – a topic close to my heart 😀


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:10:22

        😀 Awesome I’m glad you think so. I have a lot of work to do/catch up on in terms of publicizing the “Share your voice.” project. I’m trying too see how I can pin a root image to Pinterest so my journals have more social backlinks for starters.


      • Sandra Harriette
        Nov 18, 2013 @ 16:20:00

        I am eager to get back up and running with articles in my “Along the Way” series:
        Take a look! I’d be happy to include you 🙂


  5. Sandra Harriette
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 15:51:38

    Or is it a list of titles?



  6. Sandra Harriette
    Nov 18, 2013 @ 15:51:23

    Is the content in green a poem?



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