In an effort to raise awareness about mental health issues among men, a Dewsbury mental health group has transformed their lived experiences into a poignant live performance. Written and performed by a member of the CLEAR Men’s Talk support group, this 40-minute play fearlessly delves into sensitive themes, including self-harm, depression, social isolation, and suicide, while also highlighting the journey to recovery and the importance of peer support.
The group aims to break down barriers and promote seeking support through live performances scheduled to take place at Brian Jackson House in Huddersfield on June 13 and Dewsbury Library on July 7. By sharing their stories, the performers hope to encourage more men to find the courage to speak out and seek the help they need.
Councillor Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, emphasised the urgency of addressing men’s mental health issues. “Suicide rates in Kirklees are highest among men, and our long-term goal is to reduce these numbers as much as possible,” said Khan. “CLEAR Men’s Talk and their unique performances provide an opportunity for individuals with lived experiences of mental health challenges to share their stories, knowing that they will resonate with others. This brave and emotionally impactful approach helps combat the stigma surrounding men’s mental health.”
Sohail Khan, a member of Men’s Talk, expressed the positive response the play has received thus far. “The show has received overwhelming support from our audiences, inspiring individuals to open up about their own mental health with loved ones and engage in conversations about the sensitive topics addressed in the performance. Our objective has been achieved,” Khan affirmed.
Commissioned by Kirklees Council, CLEAR Men’s Talk is a creative advocacy project designed to assist men who have faced mental health issues. By utilising applied theatre and filmmaking, the group effectively directs individuals to available support networks while promoting open dialogue among men.
For individuals seeking support for their mental health or concerned about someone else, various resources are available. Visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/mentalhealth for more information and assistance.