I AM | MENTAL HEALTH MOVEMENT
A large mental health crisis has been brought to light especially in young people as they have been through the pandemic, isolating and restricting them from living their everyday lives. Even with going back to school, we are aware that the problems still haven’t gone away and have been highlighted more since the pandemic. We know the power physical activity can have on our mental & physical health, so we want to champion how powerful expressing your feelings and emotions through dance can be for these young people and for them to learn that they are not alone.
The Project- I.AM
The goal of the project is to use Street Dance to help young people identify, express and work through mental health issues and challenges that they are facing at home and at school. The feature length video created by BDC, showcases different story lines of what young people may be going through behind closed doors. The film is made all through dance and the moves that demonstrate the emotions linked to the story lines. The aim of this film is for young people to watch it and by watching it they may be able to relate to one of the storylines or it may trigger a thought that they’re actually not ok, and then have the tools and support given to them to help them through their mental health issues.
The video has been shown to mental health professionals and has been advised for no younger than year 8 pupils.
Our workshops will be mentoring, leading and developing dancers and non dancers at school on how to use movement and music to tackle their own issues that they might be going through. By bringing these conversations to the dancefloor we can take away the need for words if they do not feel comfortable talking about their problems and help young people voice and express their feelings. When they feel more confident to discuss their challenges and understand the consequences of bullying, this will help them to see that there is always a choice.
‘I.AM’ is a cinematic dance film that follows a young girl on her first day in secondary school where she falls victim to various types of bullying and peer pressure from fellow students. Every day she experiences a different form of bullying which leads her to eventually take her own life.
The focus of the film is not just the bullying that the girl experiences but also the bullies themselves. What are the underlying issues they are going through to prompt their behaviour towards her? We take a look at each bully that has been part of that cycle of treatment to the girl and see the individual struggles and secrets that they themselves are dealing with. They are hurting inside as well, and this in turn leads them to make the choices they make. We are all given the same choice; to show kindness in moments of vulnerability, or to use our own insecurities and suffering to inflict pain on others.
The film ends by highlighting the moments that different more empathetic choices could have been made by the students. You see how connected, these choices would have saved the girls life and given more freedom and empowerment to their own. This leaves the viewer with the clear narrative that leading with kindness, listening to others, and truly hearing them, can make a huge impact on their own lives and the lives around them. The film is empowering, honest and relevant to what many young people are facing today. The objective is to start a conversation and to help educate others on the importance of vulnerability and letting people know when you are not ok. To walk in someone else’s shoes before judging them and to lead with kindness and empathy can change someone’s life. Hurt people, hurt people and that is a very important issue that we want to tackle.
The content of the movie raises awareness and highlights the effects and of drugs , eating disorders, teen pregnancy, domestic abuse, self harm, bullying, underage drinking, spiking, sexuality, social media addiction & suicide.