A SCHEME in Cardigan is helping young people in the area deal with mental health issues.

Amethyst is a Small World Theatre project, running workshops for young people who have experienced issues around self-harm, anxiety, depression, low confidence and low self-esteem. Amethyst also works broadly with emotional well-being.

“We manage the project and it is very much part and parcel of what we do at Small World Theatre,” said market manager Sam Vicary.

Prior to setting up Amethyst, Small World Theatre worked with the Amber project in Cardiff. The Amber project also reached out to marginalised groups such as young people from care, homeless young people, LGB, transgender and non-binary young people. Amethyst delivers similar workshops through a highly successful working model in West Wales.

This year, in addition to running workshops in-house, Small World Theatre is piloting taking workshops out into schools in Ceredigion, to work with a lower age range around the issues of well-being and mental health, including Cardigan Primary School and T Llew Jones at Brynhoffnant.

The scheme is delivered by Deri Morgan, who said: “Our aim is to help young people deal with issues they have faced in their lives or may face in the future.

“In the past, mental health issues have been so much more taboo but things are now much more out in the open. We are mainly dealing with teenagers aged 14-16 but also going into junior schools to discuss wellbeing.

“Secondary school pupils tend to be referred to the project but with the junior schools its inclusive for everyone.”

The project uses, among other techniques, theatre to explore people’s real experiences and stories, along with using still images to explore our feelings and experiences. Many fun games are involved to make people laugh and smile.

“Our priority is that the young people we work with feel listened to, can express themselves and can explore their thoughts and feelings safely, increasing their confidence and self-esteem” added Deri.

“The use of drama can make things fun. Some younger kids have forgotten how to play and this helps break that down and break down the isolation they may feel.”

If you or someone you know is interested in taking part, get in touch with Deri at deri@smallworld.org.uk or call 01239 615952.