Mental Health is something being talked about a lot, which is apt since we’ve just had Mental Health Awareness Week. It’s being talked about more openly, particularly with Children and Young Adults in a bid to rid the stigma attached to it.
One theme that keeps cropping up, for people of all ages but especially children, is how drama and in particular Drama Therapy helps them to tackle hard subjects and any mental anguish they are feeling.
It is often the freedom that kids feel, when acting out a scene or devising a piece of theatre that brings them out of their shell. They know they aren’t going to be judged and can let their imaginations run wild. During workshops, you often find subjects you wouldn’t normally tackle being talked about. I was running a class not so long ago when the subject of ‘Surrogacy’ was brought up by a 7-year-old. She devised a piece where her “Mum” didn’t have time for her as she was helping others by having a baby for them. It turned out that her Mum had been a surrogate on many occasions and the little girl went on to tell me about how she felt jealous of her Mum having another baby but didn’t want to say anything. I had a quiet word with the girls parents after the session and they were shocked as she’d never shown any signs of feeling left out. The following week the Mum told me that her Daughter had re-worked the 5 minute play and that now she played the lady who couldn’t have the baby and was excited when someone said they could help her. Perhaps if that particular little girl hadn’t had an output, such as drama, this issue may never have seen the light of day or perhaps even lead to an emotional problem later down the line.
It was astonishing that something of this nature was being presented to me by a child so young. We underestimate kids sometimes and often think they aren’t aware of things going on in our lives, so it’s important to make sure they fully understand any huge events going on and how it might affect them.
Drama isn’t always about wanting to become an actor, it’s a positive environment which allows children to be educated as well as letting them express themselves and explore subject matter they may never otherwise tackle.
Mental Health Awareness is SO important, seeing the signs and asking for help are imperative, so if you think that you, or someone you know, needs help in this area, make sure you seek help from your GP or click here for more information.
Written by Miss Nicole