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'Silent Mind' embarking on third year of touring schools for Mental Health Awareness Week

'Silent Mind' is a play from Theatre for Life showcasing stories of mental health as it tours with Mayflower Engage around schools throughout Mental Health Awareness Week.

Dress rehearsal of 'Silent Mind' at Mayflower Theatre.

For the third year, Theatre for Life’s ‘Silent Mind’ will be touring with Mayflower Engage around schools during Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9 to May 15).

The play showcases stories of anxiety, eating disorders, body dysmorphia and bipolar disorder as a way of introducing mental illness to young people in a creative format.

Solent Mind’s Abby Oakley, who shared some of her experiences to help shape the bipolar storyline in the play, said: “Young people nowadays are more open and understanding of mental health, but there is still so much education that is needed.

“Performances like this are so few and far between, but actually going in and educating young people around different types of mental health will help young people resonate and understand more about it and spark that conversation.”

‘Silent Mind’ is also interactive as throughout the piece, the audience are encouraged to take part in breathing techniques and mindfulness exercises along with the characters.

The play has adapted with each year it has run, with this year incorporating the theme of loneliness in line with this years Mental Health Awareness Week.

Michelle Smith, Theatre for Life CIC Artistic Director, explained: “It is really important to acknowledge the pandemic and the affect that has had on young peoples mental health, loneliness and isolation has been a key part of that.

“Through this play, all the characters have experiences that, we’ve also adapted the script to show that isolation and how it impacts you. We hope that by the audience members watching that throughout the piece, they can also acknowledge they are not alone and other people have felt those same feelings.”

Troy, who plays Jason and an anxiety therapist in the play, said: “I think back to when I was at school, and as someone who has been diagnosed with mental health issues, I think if I had something like this I could have been aware a lot earlier about what was going on.

Troy (left) as the anxiety therapist, and Callum (right) as Andrew in 'Silent Mind'

“It is about telling stories, that’s what Silent Mind does so well, it isn’t bombarding you with facts. It is actually going; This is a story about a persons experience, and if something resonates with you, here is ways to deal with it and where to get help.”

Callum plays Andrew in Silent Mind, as well as a behavioural therapist, and he said: “When you’re younger, I think you can get confused about what’s going on and you don’t necessarily recognise the feelings you’re feeling. Being able to see it really allows you to connect with them and question, do I need to ask for help? Am I okay?”

For further information about booking ‘Silent Mind’ for your school, college or organisation, please email: enquiries@theatreforlife.co.uk

For more information on everything Theatre for Life does, head to their website here: http://www.theatreforlife.co.uk/

And for all our services available to Children and Young People, click here: https://www.solentmind.org.uk/support-for-you/our-services/?&category=children-and-young-people

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