Marian @ Krysan


Planting Golden Seeds in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, and Durham



 "Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day."

E B White



M A K E    M E    C A R E


Marian Moore 

A North East Storyteller 


    The gold standard ...

What follows is the transcript of a talk I gave recently to an audience of my peers, all people interested in making the world a better place and each coming to mental health from a different direction.  The story was taken from the archives, having been written almost five years ago - in March 2010.

See PUBLISHING for more.

Always remember that a good story has power.  The power to inspire.  The power to energise, and the power to move people to action.  Good stories also have the power to build understanding.  To entertain  To teach.  To humanize the big picture.  Most importantly, good stories have the power to be remembered.

Now, please read on bearing in mind that a 'good story' should come straight from the heart. Primarily, a story worth telling (fact or fiction) should make you/me care.  This is the gold standard.

Good stories should also be worth re-telling.  As here!


W  I  L  D     H  O  R  S  E  S

 (There but for the Grace of God ...) 



These are truly words full of wisdom and worth sharing.

A grandfather was talking to his grandson, telling him, "I have two wolves barking inside of me. The first wolf is filled with anger, hatred, bitterness and mostly revenge. The second wolf inside of me is filled with love, kindness, compassion and mostly forgiveness."  "Which wolf do you think will win?" the young boy inquired.  The grandfather responded, "Whichever one I feed." 

I'm going to introduce you to a mother.  She is called Hazel and she spoke in the slot before me in a northern hospital this week.   Hazel was introduced as 'an ex-carer', the son for whom she had cared with such devotion having died three years ago.  We learned that this young man had developed (as I did) the extreme symptoms of schizophrenia. Now, his mother writes, and shares with others, sometimes painful insights gleaned from her experience of being a carer.  Through her poetry, she describes what it is truly like to be responsible for someone forever changed.  The following poem has been chosen at random.  It is about care in the community and is called 'Abandon Ye'.  

Send them home to their carers/ We've given them all we've got/ They've had their allocation/ Though it was not a lot/ The funding won't allow us to keep them anymore/ So, send them home to their carer/ That's what they are for!

Send them home to their mothers/ For we don't have a bed/ And there are lots of others/ Who need their place instead/ We haven't got the money, the cash-flow isn't there/ So, send them home to their mothers/ The only ones who care.

Send them home to their sisters/ Or brothers or their friends/ 'Cos we've a line of patients/ That simply never ends/ Yes, care in the community/ That's the thing today/ So, send them home to their sisters/ Cos that's the cheapest way.

Send them home to their new flats/ With packages of care/ Except because of cutbacks/ There's rarely someone there/ The CPNs are loaded down and simply cannot cope/ So, send them home to their new flats/ Without the slightest hope. 

Heartbreaking - yes - but this poem was recited by Hazel with love, kindness and compassion for herself, her son and her audience of student nurses.  These are the young people who will one day take their place in society as Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs).  They will become part of 'packages of care' and will be often stretched to the limit.  Although, I know that care in the community worked for me, I also know that this is not always the case for others - and sadly never will be.  With the best will in the world, abandonment and lack of hope will always be there for some unfortunates whose suffering and anguish I cannot even begin imagine.  No system is infallible and some people do, indeed, fall through the net.

I come now to examine the indirect consequences of care in the community for other (equally innocent) people around the country. Their disturbing stories were told in a BBC 4 documentary beamed into our comfortable sitting rooms and complacent lives last week.  The whole thrust of the programme was around failures in the care system.  The documentary Why did you kill my dad? was made by a journalist called Julian Hendy.  The programme told the story of his own father's death at the hands of someone suffering from schizophrenia.  The 'perpetrator' was a mental health service user cared for in the community.

Of equal significance to an understanding of this 'stranger homicide' was the implication of mind-altering drugs. At first glance, this programme was surely a body-blow for the anti-stigma campaign of which I am a part.  On second thoughts, maybe this is not so.  Sometimes things need to be said and said with a passion if anything is ever to change for the better and I would defend Julian's right to a basic freedom in modern Britain, the freedom of speech.  But, please, don't let the first wolf win. There is another way.

Exceptions don't make the rule.  Many service users who have recovered have done so because of (and not despite of) care in the community.  Maybe this is a good place to say that many of us also recovered because we made informed life-choices (1) to reject stigmatising labels, and (2) to reject mind-altering drugs.  On the first count, service users like me have cause to wonder at an alarming intolerance towards 'difference' in society and this at every level.  We are equally perturbed about the long-term side-effects of drugs on the delicate structures of the brain.  These are the same drugs that some take by choice, whilst others (like me) have to be coerced into swallowing.  For whose good?  Sometimes I wonder.

We service users also know only too well about the super-human efforts needed to self-heal despite all the cards being stacked against us - all but one!  Too often our insights (and those of our carers) are ignored by upholders of the status quo.  I don't want to hear yet again the old familiar cry that lessons will be learnt.  I want rather to see grass roots action.  I love and admire the National Health Service and everything it stands for - it is our NHS.  We all have a vested interest.  Don't become an invisible patient.  Speak out.

I did, Julian did, Hazel did - and you can, too. 


Because, one in four people will suffer from mental illness in the course of their life and this person could be you or someone you love.

   The power and the story ...

We shall not cease from exploration

  • And the end of all our exploring
  • Will be to arrive where we started
  • And know the place for the first time.  T S Eliot

It's a brand new storytelling world and you are invited to climb on board.  No more excuses. Think back to the time (now far distant) when the media controlled the message.  But today, every organisation (or individual) can be a publisher.  For perhaps the first time in modern history, we have the control and the tools in our hands to tell and distribute our own stories.

As said above, a good story has power.  The power to inspire.  The power to energise, and the power to move people to action.  Good stories also have the power to build understanding.  To entertain  To teach.  To humanize the big picture.  Most importantly, good stories have the power to be remembered.

You have the storytelling power (like me) right at your fingertips.  We all have the ability to tell stories - it's part of our DNA, passed down from the beginning of humankind.  Stories have been called "the connective tissue of the human race."  As young children we instinctively learn to tell stories and we yearn for stories to be told to us.

But our natural storytelling nature is suffering.  "Knowledge of the fundamental underlying forms of story, the principles of story, has been lost in many ways," says Robert McKee, legendary screenwriter and self-described Hollywood story doctor.  Our natural instincts may also be covered up by years of dust as we've rattled off facts and figures and jargon.

Well - my friends - it's time to dust off and start thinking in stories again.

   Good stories can ...

Make people feel.  And when people feel, they can be moved to act.

Cut through the clutter.  There is so much digital and visual noise out there that a good story can cut through.  A good hunk of online content is simply filler - people are craving good stories more than ever.

Arm your evangelists.  Help the people most likely to talk about you to tell consistent stories that have impact.

Help you improve.  Stories can be powerful assets for internal learning, allowing you to see patterns and connections that you might normally miss.

Build a stronger organisational culture.  Telling stories about your organisation's work shows staff, clients, volunteers, and others that you see them, hear them, and appreciate them.

Wake people up.  Have you been using the same funder report style for a decade?  Want to bet that you're not making it easy for your funder to understand what you do and how you're making an impact.


The greatest distance between two people is a story.




A Message to you from Time to Change ...

Why not take part in 'Time to Talk Day 2015'? 

Thursday 5 February 2015 is Time to Talk Day, and we’re asking the nation to take 5 minutes to have a conversation about mental health. There are lots of ways that you can make your 5 minutes count, and we have some suggestions for what you can do in your workplace. Let us know what you're planning for the day and order your pack.


  • Tell a story. 
  • Make me care.


  • Marian Moore
  • A North East Storyteller
  • 10 January 2015 




The Power And The Glory

We discover at our heart the power and the glory behind the world. This is the message of Christianity and of all the great religions, that at your heart is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Not because you deserve it. It’s grace. Far from deserving it, on the contrary, it’s a free gift, begging to be noticed. Eckhart – I love Eckhart, the great German mediaeval mystic, a great man, a Dominican – he said, ‘My dear friend, what have you got to lose by doing God the favour of letting Him be God in you?’ Think of that! ‘My dear friend, what have you got to lose by doing God the favour of letting Him be God in you?’ This is the message of all the great mystics of whatever religion, although couched in not such beautiful language. It is awesome and it’s astounding, the Treasure which is so neglected at our hearts. (Interview with Douglas Harding. DVD.)



I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was.’  

Stanley Kunitz  See THE LAYERS for more.






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