DEAs Put On Mental Health Play in Crossgar

Youth Drama Exploring Mental Health Issues Performed in Crossgar.

Youth Drama Exploring Mental Health Issues Performed in Crossgar.

Downpatrick, Rowallane and Slieve Croob District Electoral Areas (DEAs) in association with the Education Authority recently welcomed the Spanner In The Works theatre company to Crossgar War Memorial Hall to perform their play ‘Overload’, which explores the mental health of three young people each suffering from anxiety.

The play was performed to a group of youth club members from across the district and was followed by a question-and-answer session.

Spanner in the Works put on a performance of Overload at the Crossgar War Memorial Hall in Crossgar.

With as many as one in six young people experiencing anxiety at some point in their teenage years, the event highlighted some of the sources of help and support available.

Before the performance the young people had an opportunity to visit a variety of support agency stands including Action Mental Health, Eating Disorders Association, Autism NI, YMCA Lisburn and the Flare Project.

The play follows three young people all suffering from anxiety due to circumstances in their lives. During the play we learn that one girl has a mother suffering from post-natal depression and as a result she has become the carer for her young brother.

(l-r) Cllr Gareth Sharvin; Patricia Downey,, Spanner in the Works: Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Cathy Mason; EA Youth Worker, Conor Galbraith, and Cllr Alan Lewis.

The other girl is dealing with domestic violence in her home and the young lad is being pressurised by his father to excel at his studies and constantly being compared to his successful sister. 

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason, said: “It is very important that our young people know there is help and support available to them if they need to talk to someone.

Some of the youth audience at the performance in the Crossgar War Memorial Hall.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, followed by repeated lockdowns, young people have become increasingly isolated which for some has had an impact on their mental health and wellbeing.

“Tonight’s performance highlighted how anxiety can affect our young people in different ways and initiatives such as this with support agencies in attendance has to be welcomed.”