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1 in 10 Project

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people. Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age. – Mental Health Foundation

Fluid Motion Theatre Company delivered workshops to students from years 7 - 10 at Testbourne Community School on mental health issues from Monday 13th to Friday 17th January. The 1 in 10 project allowed our students to explore a range of mental health topics through drama-based activities and helped to both increase their understanding of mental health disorders and encourage positive mental wellbeing.

Up to 25 students from each year group workshopped ideas and created a theatrical response to their chosen mental health issue. Topics explored by the students included depression, PTSD, psychosis and anxiety. They worked under the careful direction of Natalie who helped guide them on the issues and encouraged them to devise and create ideas in creative and abstract ways. Each year group only had one day to create their drama piece which was performed to family and friends at the end of the week, on stage in the Theatre Hall.

The students showed real ambition and responsibility through applying for a place on the workshop, dealing with the issues maturely and performing to an audience of over 200 people in the Theatre Hall. It was an exciting performance as each year group got the opportunity to share their work and watch each other’s performance which allowed them to learn about a new area of mental health.

Testbourne Youth Theatre, made up of 8 auditioned Year 11 GCSE Drama students, also performed their play Silent Voices at the final performance for the students involved in the 1 in 10 project and audience members. The play was written and directed by our Head of Drama, Mr Carrington and deals with a serious mental health disorder, Schizophrenia. The Testbourne Youth Theatre’s performance was mesmerising and powerful and was well-received; one member of the audience, who had experience of dealing with Schizophrenia within her family, praised Mr Carrington and the students for capturing the authenticity of the disorder in such a sensitive and emotive way.

Below are some of the comments from the students who took part in the project!

“I personally learnt so much from it, found how to tackle a mature and deep subject and to be creative and be experimental. Thank you to the company for giving us such a great workshop!”

“I really enjoyed the way that the day was set up. How it went from playing a game or two to making smaller performances about mental health in order to expand our knowledge on the topic.”

“I really enjoyed my experience in the 1 in 10 project as I learnt a lot about mental health as well as a few tips about acting. Natalie really helped us explore the abstract side of performing arts and gave us confidence in what we devised. Our overall project was on PTSD and our performance really helped us understand what PTSD actually is! It was a privilege to take part in this project."

We would like to thank Leigh, the director of Fluid Motion Theatre Company for providing us with this opportunity and to Natalie who delivered the workshops and inspired our students. It was a wonderful experience for our youngsters and one that they will hold in their memories.

Finally, congratulations to all the students who participated in the 1 in 10 project! We have captured some of the amazing drama performances here in a short video.


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