Student's performing at Attic Theatre school
Student's at Attic Theatre School

Attic Theatre School in West Bridgford is not only creating young actors and actresses but is also providing a unique platform of support for the mental well-being of students.

Studies have shown a concerning increase in mental health issues amongst young people in the past decade, with stress, anxiety and depression becoming ongoing concerns.

This increase has been especially steep as a result of the pandemic and associated lockdowns, according to reports from the Office for National Statistics.

“I felt the constant need to diminish and belittle myself”

Evie, STUDENT at attic theatre school

School Founder and Principle, Amanda Grimsey, is passionate about the group’s commitment to fostering a supportive environment.

“It’s like an escapism when you’re working within drama, your not yourself and I do think it helps.

“In a way theatre acts like therapy for the students, helping them during those difficult times. To watch the process of them working through that anxiety and coming out the other side is really really rewarding,” she says.

Experts says they have noticed a surge in mental health challenges post-covid, including an increase in reported cases of self-hatred and anxiety amongst young people.

The lack of physical interaction and the shift to virtual communications have altered the dynamics of social relationships especially amongst young people.

Jack a student at Attic Theatre School

 

Evie is a sixteen-year-old student at Attic Theatre School who has been fighting an ongoing battle with her mental health.

“I’ve always struggled with mental health especially anxiety and depression and bullying within friendship groups.

“The pandemic was where it was at it’s worst because I had no one to talk to, I was constantly alone in quite a hectic house.

“When we went back to school, there was constant bullying from boys and people in my class. It was quite a struggle to express myself; I felt the constant need to diminish and belittle myself,” she says.

Audio: Evie, a student at Attic Theatre School speaks about how theatre has helped her mental health.

  • Seven out of ten young people have described their mental health as poor post-pandemic.
  • The NHS have diagnosed nearly half of young people in the UK with depression and anxiety since the pandemic.
  • The impact of covid-19 has led to an unprecedented increase in demand for mental health services for young people in England.

Attic continues to create a safe space where young people can express themselves, building their confidence back up since lockdown.

Lily, another student says “I was at a real low point in my life, I was having to seek help from the mental health professionals in school and also crisis teams on certain occasions.”


Attic Theatre School live on stage (see full post here)

“Knowing that there is people around me that is a support network; we are always saying that this is our safe space but I could not reiterate that enough how safe I feel here.

“I feel like I can use things that have happened to me in my past in terms of my mental health in a healthy way,” she said.

As the curtains rise on Attic Theatre School, they are showing young pupils that the stage is not just a platform for performance but a sanctuary for healing and self-discovery.