This page is an experiment. Nidotherapy began as a treatment for individuals, but it can be extended to include whole communities. Environmental changes can not only be of specific benefit, but also, if it is the right sort of change, help everybody in one place. But of course many changes can be regarded as independent of nidotherapy. So if a deprived community with much unemployment is suddenly blessed with the arrival of a large company with a range of desirable new jobs, many will have their general mental health improved, but this cannot be regarded as linked to nidotherapy unless the whole process was created from within the community in some way.
Newark is the base for NIDUS-UK. It is a medium sized town in the East Midlands, noted mainly for its medieval castle and major influence as a military hub in the Civil War of the 17th century. It lacks confidence a little and is somewhat overshadowed by its larger neighbours such as Lincoln and Nottingham but it has a strong sense of civic pride and identity. Can the town be helped by nidotherapy or is this a step too far? Readers can judge as this page develops.
A. The Death of King John
The death of a medieval king may not seem to have much connection with nidotherapy but connections with Newark are easier to find. King John died in Newark castle in 1216 and a play in the tradition of William Shakespeare will be performed at various venues in the town next year. So where is the connection to nidotherapy? Simple really, and if you look at other parts of this web-site you can see examples of people in different roles from their normal ones. If you want, or are contemplating, a change in your personal environment you can often test it out by acting. We needed quite a few people to take part in this production, which we hoped would help to put Newark in the limelight in 2016. More than that, we hope it will give the public a better view of King John, who has been treated pretty badly by history, and William Shakespeare himself did not not do much for him in his somewhat dreary play about him. The Death of King John may not seem like an uplift, but we intend it to be!
‘The Death of King John’ was performed on 19th October, 2016, the exact date of his death 800 years ago, and also on the 20th, 21st and 22nd October.
B. The Disappearance of Harley Smith
Harley Smith is a 10 year old boy with autism living in Farndon, just south of Newark. He disappeared from home on the morning of Sunday 26th July. His parents were petrified that he could fall into a pond, drown in the River Trent, or have an accident on the road. What has this got to do with nidotherapy? Nothing so far, but what happened next contained many of the essentials of nidotherapy – collaboration to solve a problem, recognition of environmental triggers, and a trail of action that led to a solution. His family alerted neighbours and before long a posse of Farndonians were scouring the roads and hedgerows looking for Harley. Before long he was found, at the Rose & Crown pub in the village, where he had been several times before with his parents, where he was quite unharmed. So a systematic collaborative manipulation of the environment led to quick success and improved well-being all round. This example of ‘instant nidotherapy’ might seem a bit trite and ordinary, but it rightly belongs to this page on nidotherapy in Newark. Although most problems raised in nidotherapy are more difficult to solve, this example gives many clues and it is unlikely that the benefit will end now. The Smith family are likely to feel much more at home, at home.
C. Research Trial Planned for Newark
We are likely to be mounting a research trial of nidotherapy for people with recurrent mental illness who live in the Newark and Sherwood area in the near future. This will depend to a large extent on the degree of local support, both financial and in person, that we receive. Please keep an eye on this page for updates. What is abundantly clear is that the people with mental illness who live in the area are being short-changed in a fractured mental health system. Nidotherapy could help to bring it together.
D. Newarke Canterbury Tales. This is an event owing a thankful but distant nod to Geoffrey Chaucer’s great book. The play is set in 1378 and includes Tales from the great Newark surgeon, Sir John Arderne, from the early feminist, the Wife of Bath, and from George the Bell-Hanger, who tells an extraordinary tale about a contest involving bells among the gods on Mount Olympus. It illustrates that nidotherapy was alive and well in the 14th century even at a time when surgical operations carried a mortality rate of 50%, women had to give their names as those of their husbands and were described as ‘winter forage’ once they passed the age of 30, and even though the church bells were rung in the same way as today they were not quite in tune. The first four performances of this family occasion crossing all generations will be on 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th July, at Collingham, Newark, Southwell and Hawton. Watch the pilgrims as they stride from Newark to Canterbury yearning to reach the Canterbury Bells.