I spent forty years working with families and individuals who were experiencing mental health difficulties, and I developed a family and community approach to mental health titled ‘My Time’.
Acts such as simply going for a walk in nature, drawing a picture, cooking a meal, joining a music group, or demonstrating against an injustice are all good for our sense of well-being.
I strongly believe ‘actions speak louder than words’, and that the best way to tackle depression and anxiety is to balance our thoughts with physical action (mind and body).
In the Papa Owl books I bring together all of my ideas in stories for children, parents and grandparents. I celebrate family, friendship and community spirit.
The books I write embrace caring for the environment and the beauty of nature, and in the books I promote and celebrate the art of making things and the importance of enjoying our lives as much as possible.
Helen Stiles is a social worker, and a local artist and illustrator. Both Michael and Helen have spent many years working with children and families and identified the need for children’s books that celebrate the magic of life pre-dating the computer age when children enjoyed making things out of a cardboard box, pieces of string, old newspapers and wall-paper paste. Creativity and invention (making things) and establishing healthy relationships across generations builds up emotional resilience and problem solving skills into adulthood.