Time to Talk Day - this Thursday February 4th (not sure if this is happening in the U.S. as well as UK?)
This is a joint initiative - run by MIND and Rethink - addressing the taboo around mental health as people still tend to feel uncomfortable talking about it.
My strong feelings on this subject prompted me to write a script over the weekend on 'Feeling Sad'. As this was written for primary schools, the language is of course simple as is the message - emphasizing that sadness is part of life, something we should all talk about and not feel embarrassed about.
I have included a ‘poem’ that I wrote – called ‘It’s OK’. I normally suggest poems I’ve come across in poetry books but I couldn’t find any on ‘sadness’ per se – plenty on reasons for sadness – but none on just sadness itself.
I will probably follow this script up with one for secondary schools/adults – available off www.plays-r-ussell.com sometime soon. Also currently available – whole section on PSHE material – anti-bullying, increasing self-esteem, feeling good about yourself, and the importance of working as a team.
Feeling Sad Class Play – FREE this week
Cast of 30 - easily adaptable up or down
Duration - around 10 minutes
(Child 15, Molly, walks over to a chair, placed to the side; she sits with her head in her hands)
(Everyone goes quiet)
Clown: Hmm. She doesn’t look very happy.
Child 16: Oh that’s Molly. She’s been like that for a while.
Narrator: Really? Well, why didn’t someone tell me?
Child 17: We’ve all tried being nice to her
Child 18: We’ve asked her what’s wrong
Child 19: But she just tells us to go away.
Child 20: Nobody can say we haven’t tried.
Narrator: So why didn’t you come and tell me?
Child 21: We thought you’d be cross.
Child 22: We thought you’d think we’d been mean to her.
Child 23: We were all worried about getting the blame.
Narrator: So, you thought it was better (pauses) just to leave her?
Child 24: Well, that seems to be what she wants.
Narrator: Hmm! We’ll see about that.
(Narrator walks quietly over to Molly and taps her on her shoulder)
Narrator: Molly? Are you OK?
Molly: (Looking up) Oh, sorry. You startled me. Yes, I’m fine, thank you.
Narrator: Don’t you want to come and join your friends?
Molly: No, thank you. If it’s all right with you, I’d rather be by myself.
Narrator: Oh I understand. But if you change your mind, you know where I am.
(Narrator walks back to a seat at the opposite side, and sits down quietly)
Narrator: (To cast) Now. It’s very important I have no interruptions. Do you understand?
(Whole cast nods)
(Molly slowly raises from her seat, bringing it with her to sit opposite Narrator)
Molly: I just wanted to apologise. I wasn’t meaning to be rude. I know everyone means well. But I just can’t be with people at the moment. I just want to be alone.