New book describes unique local project linking mental health with archaeology

Dr Kate Lack (left) pictured with Jenny McMillan at the launch of 'Past In Mind'.

Dr Kate Lack (left) pictured with Jenny McMillan at the launch of 'Past In Mind'.

First published in News

WHAT has been described as a "fascinating book about a remarkable project" was launched in the packed village hall of Whitbourne, near Bromyard.

The book, Past in Mind: A Heritage Project and Mental Health Recovery, was written by Whitbourne based historian Dr Katherine Lack and is an account of a unique project that brought together the unlikely bedfellows of archaeology and mental health.

The project was a result of a meeting between former senior manager at Herefordshire MIND, Jenny McMillan, and senior archaeologist Ian Bapty.

One of the key aims of the project, which took place three years ago, was to develop the discipline of archaeological enquiry as an aid to facilitating and supporting personal journeys to better mental health.

Fifty volunteers - including a number who suffer from mental health problems - excavated the ancient settlement of Studmarsh near Bromyard.

Intriguingly, and as the book outlines, the project found there is significant synergy between the processes of social history and mental health recovery.

Dr Lack said: "The Past in Mind project was a wonderful experience. There was so much to learn, and everyone found something different in it. For me, as project historian and now as author of the book, it was a chance to meet and get to know some fascinating people, both today and from the past history of Studmarsh."

The book, priced at £5.95, is available from the author, from local bookshops, including the Bromyard and District Local History Society, or on line from Amazon uk.

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