Alison Wert hopes to raise awareness, and acceptance of mental illness. Courtesy Photo

OTTAWA – Mental illness does not discriminate. Those who struggle with any kind of mental issue often have a difficult time not only finding the words to describe it and share their challenges, but also to begin to manage their situation.

Alison Wert has written a book of poetry with the hope of raising awareness about mental illness and everything that arrives with it.

The name of her book is Words from Within.

Each poem has a brief back story that goes with it to explain the context the poem was written in.

Wert, born in Avonmore, is a student at Algonquin College in Ottawa. She describes her work as something that, “is a glimpse within the windows of my soul.  This book goes into the deepest crevasses of my being and touches on the situations that have made me the person I am today. I wrote this book based on my personal struggle with mental illness, as well as the heartbreaks I have suffered. I aim to show my readers that our illnesses do not define who we are and to never feel ashamed of them. I want others who read this book to feel heard and to know that they aren’t alone, I hope to bring my readers a little bit of comfort, in the same way poetry has brought me comfort in the past.”

She is aware of the pain, frustration and disappointment that comes built into any mental illness.

She has been diagnosed as bi-polar.

She said when she reads the stories that go along with her poems, she is inspired with how far she has come.

She said, “It is a great way to see how far I have come along in my own personal journey.

“Words From Within, I also hope, helps those who are feeling that there is no way out; that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, as heartbreak can be one of the hardest struggles a soul has to endure in their lifetime, I hope to make it just a little bit easier,” she said.

The book uses poetry to describe the many emotions she has felt as she journeys on her own path dealing with mental illness.

This book is a compilation of many raw and real emotions that I have endured throughout my lifetime. As the mental health movement progresses, I wanted to be a part of it and wanted to speak up about my own personal struggle in case it could help others. I hope that all my readers out there can find a piece of tranquility within these pages, the same way writing this book helped me along my journey of healing.”

Wert has always had a creative streak in her.

She drew all the illustrations for her book which is around 100 pages. Poetry seemed to be the best way she could get her thoughts out on paper, providing some relief from the stress of her situation, and at the same time helped her understand, and heal.

“I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I began to write down poems for about a year and left it at that. I had always wanted to write a book and after I realized I had quite a collection of poems, I thought maybe my poems could help other people in the same way my poems had helped me,” she said.

“This was a kind of outlet for me.”

Her publisher, Baico Publishing in Ottawa is hoping this will not be her only book.

Words from Within will be available in Chapters, Indigo, and Coles. She is hoping to also get her book into independent stores. It will also be available online with Chapters and Amazon. The book is $20 plus tax.

To pre-order Words from Within you can find Alison Wert on Facebook and contact her directly or email her at