POWER OF YOUTH & CREATIVITY
BY I WILL YOUTH LEADER AMY WEBB
For many of us, 2020 was something we were looking forward to. Fresh starts, ideas etc, yet here we are, in the midst of a pandemic. However, with being asked to stay at home, cases of mental health have risen. According to Mind, a mental health charity, ‘more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) have said their mental health got worse during lockdown.’
Many people are finding it tough to keep themselves occupied. For me, keeping creative was proving quite a challenge. But that didn’t stop the industry from pulling together. The company I’m apart of, Theatre for Life, had set up a 6 month creative workshops, to keep people being active and creative. From poetry, dancing, musical workshops, writing, wellbeing etc. there was always something going on every week. This was exactly what myself and other young or old people needed in this crucial time. Taking part in the workshops, challenged me to try out things I’ve never done before. They created something that was accessible in the times of need, to which I am thankful for.
As I mentioned before, there were wellbeing workshops and these were held with Solent Mind, a local mental health charity. I found these workshops incredibly insightful and helpful, as sometimes my mind feels like an engine going into overdrive. So attending these workshops, learning new techniques, but also realising in my own body what is happening and acknowledging it, was a step forward. There are still times it wants to think of every tiny detail, but I'm now able to break down my mind, acknowledge and move forward with it.
From everything that is and has happened, a new projected has ‘emerged’ from this. Working with the Southamptons Children’s Hospital and PEEER, Project Youth Service, we're exploring hidden disabilities and important issues within this. I won’t share too much as you can find more about it on our instagram, Twitter and website, just search for ’Theatre for Life’. It is something super exciting and we all cannot wait for the finished product!
I think for me, what I would like for you to take away today, is look at art, but see past what your eyes can see. Dive into exploring new things, no one is right or wrong when creating as it’s your creation. This is something that is fantastic for your emotional and mental well being, which at times like this, can be taken for granted. There is no pressure to do anything big or small, just do something that you enjoy doing, even the simplest things like putting on music and dancing, or just listening, can help take your mind off things and calm you. Something like that a day, can have that much of an impact.
Written by Amy Webb, Theatre for Life and I will Youth Leader