Entertaining and compelling! A must-see for anyone wanting to create a better future for our young people.
Me, Myself and Mind is a powerful performance from Byron Youth Theatre that graphically portrays the mental health challenges young people face in navigating the journey of adolescence in a world beset by the crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
It is a timely and significant performance given that Professor Patrick McGorry, Australia’s leading youth Psychiatrist has just described the deepening mental health crisis arising from COVID-19, especially among young people, as the “shadow pandemic”. Mental health problems affect more than 1 in 4 young people. A 2020 national survey conducted by Headspace found that a third of young Australians reported high or very high levels of distress.
Through a series of riveting and engaging scenes, the young actors graphically portray the doubts, emotional uncertainty and confusion that beset young people in terms of their developing identity, relationships, body image and sexuality. It underscores the sense of loneliness, alienation and despair that so many young people experience which is unfortunately linked to the disturbing fact that suicide is the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15–24 years (Australian Institute of Health & Welfare).
It is also a stinging rebuke of our health and social systems which all too often fail to adequately recognize and respond to young peoples’ needs.
Ultimately though, the performance provides a message of hope and inspiration as the actors poignantly convey the importance of connection, understanding, empathy and emotional support as pathways to wellbeing.
Peter Chown. Psychologist.
Consultant, NSW Centre for the Advancement of Adolescent Health
Specialist Trainer, Headspace
Ambassador, Uplifting Australia