Stage play shines spotlight on young people’s battle with mental health
Suicide and suicidal ideation among young people were on Monday highlighted through the Massy Group’s annual production to raise awareness and boost suicide prevention efforts.
Scores of secondary school students filled the seats at the National Cultural Centre on Homestretch Avenue for the thought-provoking play.
Massy Group and the Ministry of Education’s Allied Arts Unit collaborated on the production, supported by Miss India Worldwide Aruna Sukhdeo, who has a keen interest in mental health among school-aged children.
Playwriter Randolph Critchlow explained that through ‘Shadows of Tomorrow’, he aims to depict how trauma can lead to a person having suicidal thoughts and how this can affect entire families and communities.
“Shadows of Tomorrow gives us a glimpse into a story of redemption, a story of determination and of strength and we hope that you take that message,” Critchlow said.
This play reflects the World Suicide Prevention Awareness Day 2023 theme: ‘Creating Hope Through Action’.
It portrays the life of a young woman struggling to maintain her family’s expectations of her and balancing her studies when an embarrassing video of her surfaces on the internet.
The family then decides to take legal actions against the person who leaked the compromising footage.
Head of the Psychology Unit at the Ministry of Health, Dr Mark Constantine said it is important that young people have access to support when they feel overwhelmed. He further noted that there is need for more awareness about mental illness and the situations that can trigger suicidal behavior to reduce stigma.
“We are trying all that we can, there is a lot more that can be done, no doubt but get in contact with the mental health unit, talk to your school counselor, tell them how you feel, and if you are having difficulties at home, talk to someone, do not keep it to yourself.
“Focus on your education, always remember education is a short-term sacrifice that can yield long-term benefits,” the Psychologist told the students.