Mission Statement:

Drama is a creative and imaginative way to engage with mental health issues. As a medium Drama enables students to engage with their learning and build their knowledge and understanding through a practical approach. We are passionate about drama and the empowerment of children and young people in Yorkshire to understand their mental health and build an awareness of how to prevent mental health illness.

Mental health understanding is important for all young people. Within the education system it has become apparent that young people can experience mental health problems and are unaware that what they are experiencing is linked to or affecting their mental health and well-being.

Our overall aim is for young people in Yorkshire to have an awareness and understanding that means they can manage their mental health and recognize signs that they may need to put coping strategies in place or seek further support. We aim to promote active healthy lifestyles, emotional resilience, and coping skills, while signposting support services available.

Drama as a learning tool means that young people can participate without feeling vulnerable or open to exposure if any of the mental health material is personal to themselves or situations within their lives. This enables students to explore difficult and sensitive issues using characters and scenarios that they can create and identify with. By leading drama workshops with young people, we believe it will encourage conversation around mental health issues and well-being.

“Our findings contribute conclusive evidence that improv promotes peoples’ ability to find creative and resourceful solutions and that therefore it can help us to think in more diverse ways or even break away from ingrained patterns of behaviour.”

“Improv to Improve: The Impact of Improvisational Theatre on Creativity, Acceptance, and Psychological Well-Being” Published Study in the Journal of Creativity in Mental Health; April 2020

Lead Facilitator:

Kirsty Bilton - Mind Matters For Education

My name is Kirsty Bilton and I am the lead facilitator for Mind Matters for Education. I have experience as a Drama practitioner in an education setting for 20 years. I have experience of the planning and delivery of drama lessons to all age groups, ensuring that the work delivered meets the learning needs of the students and the requirements of the organisation’s desired learning outcomes. I have extensive experience of using dramatic techniques to engage learners with a variety of content.

I understand the mental health challenges that young people face daily and have worked in a pastoral capacity with students of all ages dealing with mental health and student well-being. I have also engaged in a variety of mental health training. I have academically undertaken a mental health first aid course and have successfully completed a level 2 certificate in mental health and well-being for children and young people.

Having managed my own personal mental health issues, I feel that I understand some of the barriers that young people may experience in getting help and support. I have personal experience of strategies that have been effective and have empathy for those that are experiencing difficulties.

Mental Health is something I feel passionately about and education and support around this topic is essential. I would like to be part of the ongoing change and create a society where mental health and personal well-being is recognized as important. My aim is to support students with their awareness and understanding of mental health in order that they succeed in their studies and personal life.

‘Mind Matters For Education’ aims to:

Mind Matters - Clouds

Empower and enable young people to explore and understand mental health and well-being, what it is and how it can impact on their everyday lives.

Create a safe and supportive environment for young people to express themselves creatively. 

Explore coping skills and strategies whilst signposting available support services.

Use the creative medium of Drama to explore relevant mental health issues and topics in a way that can include personal reflection or using characters to explore issues/situations.