Mental health takes centre stage in school play

Nicola Etoria, who starred in touring play Fix This, performed at Woodkirk Academy.
Nicola Etoria, who starred in touring play Fix This, performed at Woodkirk Academy.

A powerful play which is touring the region to raise awareness of mental health issues among youngsters was performed in front of dozens of schoolchildren.

Teachers, parents and pupils gathered at to watch Fix This, a one-woman performance which explores issues of young people self-harming, at Woodkirk Academy in Tingley.

It was performed at the school on Monday as part of its tour across Leeds high schools this month.

Playwright Emma Adams, who penned the play, spoke to youngsters dealing with mental health issues as well as parents of teenagers who self-harm to share their experiences in the final performance.

She said: “I didn’t want it to be a lecture, young people are not interested in being told what to think.

“They like to be invited to think for themselves and this is what I have tried to achieve.

“People allowed me to come in and ask questions - they took a risk and showed tremendous generosity.

“It became clear to me that some young people are simply focused on getting through the day without self-harming – it’s a massive challenge for them.”

The play, first performed in 2014, was commissioned by Leeds charity Space2 and is being performed by only Nicola Etoria.

It also includes a workshop and a guidance pack with advice for adults on how to tackle the issue.

The tour has been funded by NHS Leeds South and East CCG project, and it was originally commissioned by Leeds Community Foundation.

For more information about Space2 visit www.space2.org.uk