Leeds show is inspiring others to break down mental health stigma

AWARENESS: Michelle Scally-Clarkes new show, Suitcase, visited Priesthorpe School  as part of a new tour to raise awareness about mental health.
AWARENESS: Michelle Scally-Clarkes new show, Suitcase, visited Priesthorpe School as part of a new tour to raise awareness about mental health.
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A poet is hoping to inspire pupils to express their feelings and raise awareness about mental health by performing her new touring play at schools in Leeds.

Michelle Scally-Clarke performed the first of her one-woman show, Suitcase, which aims to break down stigma surrounding mental health, at Priesthorpe School in Pudsey yesterday.

The tour launches as the YEP is also calling on people and organisations across the city to help combat the damaging social stigma still attached to the issue as part of our #SpeakYourMind campaign.

Now in its second tour, the show includes a dramatic performance before pupils get the opportunity to take part in a workshop.

The workshop encourages young people to look after their own mental health and support others.

Ms Scally-Clarke said: “I’m hoping that Suitcase will enable young people to express and find ways of owning their voice and feelings, rather than accepting everything that they 
see on television or on social media.

“They can learn to listen to themselves and develop life-skills for asking and obtaining support.

“Writing things down can empower them to listen and make sense of their thoughts and feelings too.”

The show was researched by speaking to pupils at Carr Manor High School, as well as input from Shout Out - an advisory group on mental health for youngsters. The latest project tour was organised by Space2, a not-for-profit organisation based in Leeds that aims to drive change in communities.

It was commissioned on behalf of Leeds’s Clinical Commissioning Groups and forms part of Future in Mind, a city-wide strategy supporting emotional health and wellbeing in young people.

Performances of the new Suitcase tour are available for booking through Space2 on 0113 329 0159.

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