A Dewsbury mental health group has taken its lived experience and created a moving live performance it hopes will help raise awareness of mental health issues amongst men.
Written and performed by a member of the CLEAR Men’s Talk support group, the 40-minute play doesn’t hold back. Men openly explore sensitive themes such as self-harm, depression, social isolation and suicide but also their journey to recovery and the support they have found from each other.
Live performances at Brian Jackson House, Huddersfield on 13 June and Dewsbury Library on 07 July, will be opportunities to help break down the barriers and encourage more people to seek support and know that they can speak out.
Councillor Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: “Suicide rates in Kirklees are highest amongst men* and we have a long-term focus to reduce these numbers as much as we can. It is with support groups such as CLEAR Men’s Talk and their unique performances, where people with lived experience and recovery can share their stories and know it will resonate with others. This is a moving and very brave way to help reduce the stigma attached to men’s mental health.”
Sohail Khan, member of Men’s Talk said: “The response from our audiences who have already seen the show has been overwhelmingly supportive. We know it has encouraged people to talk about their own mental health with family and friends and discuss the sensitive topics in the show, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve.”
CLEAR Men’s Talk, commissioned by Kirklees Council, is a creative advocacy project for men who have experienced mental health issues. The group uses applied theatre and filmmaking to signpost support and encourage men to talk.