‘What’s it like to be me’: The premiere

Young people shared ‘their mental health story’ last night to a private screening cinema audience made up of close family, friends and funders.

The premiere of the short film explored issues such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Panic
  • Loneliness
  • Poor body image
  • Anger and aggression
  • Risky behaviour
  • Unsuitable relationships
  • The Adolescent Brain

And offered a raw insight into the 12 young people from Chelmsford and Braintree that had taken part in the group project – ‘What’s it like to be me’.

Written, acted and produced by the project cohort, ‘What’s it like to be me’ is a therapeutic facilitated dramatherapy and filmmaking project dedicated to young people (11-25).

Sian D’Andrea, 14, from Chelmsford was asked about the impact of the project, she said: “I’ve been able to sleep a lot more and easier. Plus, I’ve been feeling less anxious and friendships have become a lot stronger.”

Some of the group during their private screening

While a parent commented about the effect of the group work on her son, saying: “Being a part of the project has had a positive impact on Sam as he has unexpectedly chosen to take Film as one of his GCSE options” And went on to say that: “Being a part of the group has become such an important part of Sam’s week.”

Luisa Frisenda, project lead on behalf of Kids Inspire, said: “The ‘what’s it like to be me’ project is a unique example of the power of therapeutic group work and how it can have a positive impact on mental health. Talking and sharing about feelings, asking for help and accepting who you are, are all steps that can lead to a more balanced mental health – all of which we think make up this unique project, and are steps I have seen the young group take as the project has progressed.”

Sue Bell, CEO and Founder of Kids Inspire remarked on the improvement of confidence in the young teens over the 20 weeks and additionally noted that: “It’s important to remember that resilience isn’t something we have or don’t have. It is something we can build, learn and improve over time. Childhood is a crucial time for mental health and creating happy memories can build self-esteem and be a great help to draw on when life gets tough.”

Sam (sound on!) Sian (sound on!)

The final meet for this cohort will take place next Thursday, in preparation for final outcomes and assessment before next steps are offered to the 12 strong group. The next cohort of the project is scheduled to start after February half-term.