21 June 2017

Talented performing arts students from Bedford College have taken centre stage to help change attitudes about mental health. The play was staged as part of a whole day named ‘Breaking down Barriers in Mental Health - Personal Resilience'. The day included talks from mental health consultants, psychiatrists and service users.

The aim of the event was to challenge mental health stigma, the students took time to improve their understanding mental health by speaking to staff and meeting service users, Keira a student who was featured in the play said “We went to the Bedford Wellbeing Centre and we spoke with service users… we found out that it is all very individual, and even though you may have the same illness, your personal experience may be completely different.”

The play was followed by a short talk on how mental illnesses are stigmatised and viewed negatively in some cultures.  Bedford College’s Ashley Gallagher said that many of these students will be coming back to the college in September to progress from Level 2 to the Level 3 course. “I feel like they have been on a journey of developing a better understanding of themselves and their own mental health and wellbeing and being able to identify with one another on a better level”.