Inclusivity, collaboration, and triumph are at the heart of Show Up. No one is left out; everyone has a part to play and there is a sense of joy in overcoming obstacles. These elements build confidence, which in turn helps maintain mental health.
There are lots of other positives along the way too: Children are given access to their cultural capital via challenging texts, they are learning transferable life skills, they are becoming one of the puzzle pieces which creates the whole stunning picture, they are helping to create a product of which they can be proud.
"It is this self-worth that is so central to good mental health and good mental health is vital to success in life."
The idea of Show Up came to me after my husband’s suicide in 2018. We met as Drama teachers in Plymouth in 1998 and we fell in love. Throughout his career he worked to improve young people’s opportunities. Due to his own difficulties with mental health he had a keen understanding for the struggles many of his students were facing. I want to continue his work and prevent anyone doing what he did and the suffering this causes for families like ours. Suicide is still the single biggest killer of men between 18 and 50.
Watch the video on the left to find out more about The Edwin Davis Foundation, which will, fundamentally, support the work of Show Up.
Sometimes something so obvious can hit you like a bolt from the blue and I realised that I had already been using what skills I had to help with mental health in the work I had done over the years with Drama. The overwhelmingly positive reaction I have received from past students, current classes and their teachers makes it glaringly obvious that this work needs expanding, especially in a climate where mental illness in young people is on the rise.
"Because applause, actual or metaphorical, is something we seek throughout our lifetime in order to have a sense of self-worth"
Show Up will be a chance to reach more children, to give them the opportunity to get applause for their work. Why? Because applause, actual or metaphorical, is something we seek throughout our lifetime in order to have a sense of self-worth. It is this self-worth that is so central to good mental health and good mental health is vital to success in life.
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