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Slough poet fights mental health stigma in debut book

A poet from Slough whose work covers depression, anxiety and cultural stigmas towards mental health has had her first book published.

Harmeet Kaur Bharya from Hillersdon, Wexham, has been writing poetry since she was 16.

In her first book of poems – Poetic Secrets: A British Brown Beauty’s Perspective – which hit the shelves on Saturday, July 28, Harmeet covers her struggles with anxiety, post-natal depression, the loss of her father and other hardships.

She also takes on some of the stigmas in Asian communities surrounding miscarriages, infertility and mental health conditions.

She said that she wants to help people gain a better understanding of mental health conditions with her work.

She added: “Most of the time they do get brushed under the carpet, it’s almost like they don’t exist because it’s not a visible illness. A lot of people suffer in silence.”

But as well as a channel to express her pain, the

35-year-old wordsmith also writes poems about love and mindfulness and hopes to teach her readers how to get through the same struggles.

“Since I’ve brought up my poetry and talked about my stuff, people have started talking about their stuff,” she added.

The mother-of-one has dedicated the book to her late father Nirmal Singh Thethi, who died when she was 21, and who always encouraged her to get her poetry published.

Some of the poems used in Harmeet’s book were written many years back when she was a teenager while others were penned more recently.

Harmeet will be signing copies of her book all day on Saturday, September 1 at WH Smith in Slough High Street.

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