Arts Brings Like Minded People Together To Look At The Effects Of Mental Health

Arts Brings Like Minded People Together To Look At The Effects Of Mental Health

A free symposium discussing the effects of mental health on young people and the impact of arts practice in mental health settings will be held on Thursday 1 March at mac in Cannon Hill Park.

The symposium, entitled Mind Your Head will include talks from leading health, education and youth professionals, debates and two short plays exploring themes of mental health – Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of Gravity by Arzhang Pezhman and the Hearth Centre’s production of Knife Act by Jimmy Whiteaker. These two plays explore how mental health affects both teachers and pupils and will provide a focus for discussion. The event will bring together those working with young people including teachers, youth workers, theatre practitioners, mental health practitioners and arts facilitators.

The Mind Your Head symposium has been organised by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and the Hearth Centre who specialise in the use of professional theatre to raise awareness about health issues with a particular focus on mental health. It has been made possible thanks to a grant from Awards For All.

Steve Ball, Associate Director for Learning & Participation at Birmingham Repertory Theatre says of the event: “Young people are often faced with stressful situations that can lead to mental health problems. There is often stigma attached to people with poor mental health and work specifically targeting young people is a relatively new development in mental health practice. We hope the day will promote a wider awareness and understanding of mental health issues through discussion and performances.”

Sue Turner, chief executive of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This symposium is an excellent opportunity for a different agencies and youth organisations to get together and discuss the impact of mental health on young people. They will see for themselves how the arts can help put the spotlight on mental health issues and the stigma around them, as well as the role it has in aiding recovery.”

In particular the performances will help reflect real life situations as Polly Wright, artistic director of the Hearth Centre comments with regards to the play, Knife Act: “The play reflects current research findings in its exploration of the stress experienced by teachers, as well as young people, in school situations.”

Mind Your Head takes place at mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham B12 9QH on Thursday 1st March from 9.30am – 4.30pm. The event is free to attend and places must be booked in advance by calling 0121 236 4455 or emailing

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