By Louis Marlow
A Kirklees support group is taking mental health awareness to the stage, with a play based on its members’ experiences.
A member of CLEAR Men’s Talk group has written the 40-minute performance, which explores self-harm, depression, social isolation and suicide but also their journey to recovery and the support they have found from each other.
Live performances will take place at Brian Jackson House, Huddersfield, on June 13 and Dewsbury Library on July 7. CLEAR is aiming to take these opportunities to help encourage more people to seek support and know that they can speak out.
CLEAR is a creative advocacy project for men who have experienced mental health issues, commissioned by Kirklees Council. The group uses applied theatre and filmmaking to raise awareness and encourage men to come forward and talk about their issues.
Clr 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.”
The Huddersfield show can be booked HERE.