Over 120 students from 5 secondary schools across the borough of Haringey came together at the Pleasance theatre today for a day of dialogue about mental health and emotional wellbeing inspired and informed by the play I AM BEAST.

I AM BEAST is a new play that has been written and directed by Haringey based theatre company, Sparkle and Dark. Dealing with the themes of bereavement and loss,  the play was also informed by the experiences of students from Haringey through workshops facilitating by Haringey CAMHS. This day at the Pleasance theatre (N1) specifically offered a Youth Participation and Engagement event, enabling young people to talk about the support that they feel they may need to address their mental health needs. A broad partnership, involving Young Minds,  deep:black, Sparkle and Dark , neuroscientist Kirstie Whitaker, as well as the CHOICES team and Haringey CAMHS provided a day of workshops, drama and discussion - culminating in the co-creation of a outline of what the young people felt they wanted from each other, from  their schools and from services. With the Children's commissioner, Catherine Swaile and local councillor Pippa Connor being present in the audience, the views of the young people did not fall on deaf ears. Our task is now to build of the hopes of these young people.