Mental health describes a level of psychological well-being or an absence of a mental illness. From the perspective of ‘positive psychology’, mental health is a person’s ability to enjoy life and create a balance between day to day activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Mental health can also be defined as an expression of emotions and suggests a positive adjustment to a variety of demands.
Mental Health is one of EdShift’s three target areas because the emotional wellbeing of children and young people is just as important as their physical health. Good mental health enables children and young people to develop the resilience to cope with whatever life throws at them and grow into creative, adaptable, healthy adults who can enjoy meaningful relationships.
This is why EdShift will be forging partnerships with local schools to run a number of workshops to help promote World Mental Health Day and their campaign #Monologues4ManKind. Ellie Brook, Founder of EdShift has more information on what the workshops and campaign will involve.
‘#Monologues4ManKind is in direct response to two areas that EdShift will be championing on World Mental Health day. The campaign is to promote the benefit of taking part in the creative process and the positive impact this can have on a person’s mental health and self-esteem. There is a wealth of dramatic texts out there that need to be explored and shared in today’s classroom. Monologues are rich in culture and are a beautiful introduction to the creative process of how an actor creates a character.
Monologues are extremely personal and internal, they provide us with an insight in to the inner psychology of a person. Their deepest desires, hopes and fears. A key indicator of mental wellbeing is having positive self-talk, so we thought #Monologes4ManKind would be a really interactive, therapeutic and creative way to introduce either writing or performing a monologue as a coping strategy. It also gives us the opportunity to familiarise young people with some amazing British Playwrights. A further driver is to encourage boys to engage in the arts, particularly in drama, where there is a distinct inequality between boys and girls opting for drama at GCSE. We are more than aware that suicide is the biggest killer of young men in the UK and the creative subjects can provide people who are struggling with mental health issues with a new route to self-esteem and hope.
We would like to run a series of workshops for boys and girls where they can learn new techniques and participate in the creative process of building a character. To ensure the workshops are reflective we will encourage young people to write a monologue based on that characters mental health. The end goal is to have a series of short clips of young people reading their own scripted monologues and sharing these with Mental Health professionals so service users can watch and feel a sense of connectedness. I think a key message in promoting World Mental Health day is that however isolated a person may feel someone is either sharing a similar experience or reaching out and offering a sense of community.
More information about #Monologues4ManKind will be posted on EdShift’s website and blog.