Horror Writers Association

Mental Health Initiative Charter


From the HWA Wellness Committee

The aim of the Horror Writers Association’s Mental Health Initiative is to bring hope and promote inclusion for those who endure mental illness. The initiative wants to challenge a climate within the horror genre that has traditionally focused on poor and ill-informed representations of mental illness, and this is known to be a vehicle to perpetuate stigma in wider society.

The Wellness Committee will focus on the following core elements when designing and developing its promotions and activities:

    To promote a positive image of mental illness/health

    To challenge and reduce the stigma associated with mental health/illness

    To foster a climate where mental illness is aligned with the same sensitivities and respect expected when considering equality and diversity

    To advocate that the HWA membership conducts sound research in the development of mental health-related themes in horror genre literature

    To be sensitive to the fact that HWA members themselves have experienced social exclusion and societal stigma

    To strive for a climate of hope and recovery through creativity

    To disseminate mental health materials and statements that are supported with a robust evidence base and/or an emphasis on the lived experience of mental health and illness

    To develop over time a recommended reading list of publications as good practice examples when writing about mental illness in the horror genre

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