As Mental Health Persists, Social Media Platform Rises to Meet the Challenge
Startup Poetizer Encourages People to Explore the Healing Power and Community of Poetry for
World Mental Health Day 2022
Prague, Czech Republic (September 2022) The pandemic, societal and global issues, inflation and more are increasingly taking a toll on people’s mental health worldwide. According to Mental Health America, nearly 50 million Americans are currently experiencing a mental health issue of some kind, and one in four Americans ages 18 to 44 reported in a survey that they received mental health treatment in 2021-2022. With high demand and unable to find the assistance they need, many are seeking online communities and exploring alternative therapies for self-expression, including poetry. In recognition of World Mental Health Day, Monday, October 10, 2022, Poetizer, the next generation social media startup for poetry, is encouraging everyone to write some poetry.
Art therapy has long been used to help people heal from trauma and overcome stress, anxiety and depression. The demand for mental health services coupled with the changes in how insurance covers therapy has led many to find new outlets for safe self-expression, and poetry as therapy is making a comeback in a big way. Meanwhile, more and more people, especially GenZ, are leaving traditional social platforms for something more authentic.
In the past decade, and especially during the pandemic, poetry has had a resurgence in what some are calling a full-on renaissance. While social media channels are giving poets an outlet and helping launch poets like Atticus, Poetizer, the social media platform exclusively for poetry is not only giving people a voice through the healthy expression of poetry, but also a supportive community and a way to earn additional income.
“The need to address mental health is greater than it's ever been. It’s no surprise we’re seeing growing interest in poetry,” says Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR. “Writing poetry offers a unique opportunity for emotional release and self-discovery that is empowering and healing, and it’s clear people are seeking it out. They’re looking for more positive social connections and communities that are supportive, understanding and where expression is authentic. Poetizer gives them this with all the benefits for a healthier mind.”
Nicholas Mazza, Ph.D, PTR, editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy and president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy has practiced, researched, and taught poetry therapy for more than 40 years. He says that poetry’s unique use of language, symbol, story and rhythm has been effective in therapeutic settings. And while typically a solitary act, sharing poetry can provide additional healing and support.
“Poetry has the unique ability to facilitate meaningful shared experiences,” says Dr. Mazza. “Poetizer has given a home to poetry as a social network connecting people to others who have the same emotions about life, societal issues, economic and global concerns. It allows people to express themselves freely and to build community.”
Chloe Aldecoa-DeFina, 24, from Arizona debuted her first book of poetry in college but had a hard time getting it published, until one Google Search led her to Poetizer. Recently, thanks to Poetizer Publishing, Chloe published Dangerous Women Are Filled with Joy, which is currently for sale in the Poetizer Bookstore.
“I love that poets leave comments for one another,” said Aldecoa-DeFina. “Some of the comments I receive are how people really relate to what I’m writing, or they’ve experienced a certain feeling like that. It’s just nice to know that out there that people are going through the same things that you’re going through.”
Atticus is a poet who has found tremendous success sharing his work and connecting with others who are using poetry to heal. The anonymous three-time New York Times Bestselling author of LVOE (Simon & Schuster, 2022) and Poetizer Ambassador said that during the pandemic he received messages from many people working through their emotions saying poetry helped them process their sadness. “I think it’s amazing how many people find therapy through poetry. Getting it out of your head and onto paper is a beautiful lost art.”
“One of the most powerful things we’ve seen is an increase in ‘Statement Poetry’ expressing emotion about social and global issues,” says Lukas Sedlacek, Poetizer CEO. “This past spring, so many people were writing poems in support of Ukraine, that we decided to print them off and post them on the John Lennon wall in Prague. It was then that we saw our global community come together in expressions of every kind and understood the force of poetry and Poetizer.”
World Mental Health Day 2022: Write a Poem, Publish a Book
The WHO has designated Monday, October 10, 2022 as World Mental Health Day, an initiative to rekindle efforts to protect and improve mental health. Poetizer encourages everyone to write at least one poem expressing something that is on their mind. They can either keep it personal, share it with someone or with many “someones” and experience the supportive and open Poetizer community firsthand.
To encourage further sharing and gift giving, Poetizer launched Poetizer Publishing in August 2022, a platform that challenges traditional publishing norms with an eco-friendlier alternative that reduces waste and carbon footprint by printing on demand and closest to the point of delivery. The platform does all the work from formatting and illustrations to printing and marketing and gives authors the opportunity to earn more income compared to other self-publishing services.
Poetizer is a free platform available via the Poetizer App for iOS and Android, and accessible through their website.
Nicholas Mazza, PhD, PTR, is a professor and dean emeritus at the Florida State University, College of Social Work. He holds Florida licenses in psychology, clinical social work, and marriage and family therapy and has been involved in the practice, research, and teaching of poetry therapy for over 40 years. A widely published scholar and poet, Dr. Mazza is author of Poetry Therapy: Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition (2022), founding and continuing editor of the Journal of Poetry Therapy, and president of the National Association for Poetry Therapy.
Poetizer believes that poetry can be a force for good in the world. Launched in 2018, Poetizer is the first social network “born” in Europe and the first next generation social network and publishing platform with 330,000+ users and more than 3,000,000 poems published to date. It allows users to read, write and share poems with the supportive community and also publish through Poetizer Publishing and sell their poem books in the Bookstore to earn additional income. The tech startup aims to digitalize, decentralize, ecologize, modernize, and democratize the publishing industry. For more information, visit www.Poetizer.com.