Young people ask for #TimeToTalk with Poem to a Parent

To inspire young people and their parents and carers to speak more openly about their mental health and to ask for help when they need it, NHS Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group has been working in partnership with local young people through charity Aik Saath – Together As One and film company Resource Productions to use poetry and filmmaking to convey their views on mental health to parents and carers in the local community.

Following a series of creative workshops and poetry competition, the winning poem “It’s all just a façade” written by Upton Court Grammar Schools student Abirami Sritharan, 17, challenges parents and carers to check on their children’s mental wellbeing. The piece has now been transformed into a short film by Katie Bonham and a team of local cast and crew. Katie’s proposal was selected from open submissions by Abirami and a panel of Youth Health Champions.

The film was shot in Slough on Saturday the 24th April and is now set to be released for Mental Health Awareness Week - 10th-16th May.

To view the film and to find out more about mental health support available head to: https://yesslough.org.uk/mental-health-and-wellbeing/

This project has been part of NHS Frimley CCG journey transforming local mental health services for young people. We have been listening intently to the views of young people in the local area who highlighted the need for a mental health awareness campaign aimed at parents and carers. Young people have consistently shared that parents and carers can help them to access the support they need but too often they can also act as a barrier to that support.

Janette Fullwood, Head of Children, Young People and Families at Frimley CCG, said: “Children and young people have told us that talking to people they trust can make a big difference. We’d like to encourage you to get involved by sharing this film to raise mental health awareness amongst parent’s and carers, local sources of support and help destigmatise mental health.”

Katie Bonham, Filmmaker with Resource Productions, said: “I was really honoured to work on Time to Talk: A Poem to Parents for Mental Health Awareness Week. Raising awareness and maintaining an open dialogue about mental health is such an important message and collaborating on a project which encourages people to express their mental health creatively was something that I really wanted to be a part of. The moment I read Abi's poem I was drawn in by how powerful and honest its message was. I am really proud to have collaborated on this project with so many wonderful creatives who worked really hard to do Abi's poem justice.”