An award-winning nurse and author from Hartlepool has published a fictional book about the hardships of mental health.
52-year-old Jenny Hutchinson wrote ‘Mint’ as a result of losing those around her to suicide over lockdown. Written under the pseudonym Cher Graiden, Jenny worked closely with people who have experience in the area to ensure her story was accurate.
She writes as a hobby alongside her role as a community district nursing sister at the Trust but labels writing as ‘the dream’.
Described as a ‘gritty romance novel about loss and love’, Mint tells the story of Charlotte. Going through hard times herself, Charlotte has a chance meeting with a man contemplating suicide on top of a building.
Jenny said: “I write as a hobby and during lockdown there was a number of suicides amongst family and friends. It was a difficult time for everyone and it became a choice of novel for me.
“Mental health services are so important. But I also wanted to highlight the significance of talking things through with those around you.”
Earlier this year Jenny won a local Nurse of the Year award for Mint after being nominated by multiple people – including someone whose brother died from suicide.
Jenny continued: “I was honoured to even be nominated for an award, let alone win! I was absolutely flabbergasted.
“I’m no J.K. Rowling but if it helps just one person, then my book was worth writing.
“If just one person realises that they’re not alone – that everyone hits rock bottom, we all get broken up with, we all get in debt – then I’ve done what I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.”
Mint isn’t Jenny’s excursion into the literary world. She has previously published two children’s books – Harry Hotdog and Elden the Owl – both inspired by her children.
To find out more about Jenny’s books, please visit her website.
If you would like someone to talk to, Samaritans is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support you. Please call the free helpline 116 123. Alternative listening services are available via the Samaritans website.