Read between the lines: using drama as a tool to change attitudes towards suicide among young people

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


According to the Scottish government’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan (2018), between 2002-2006 and 2013-2016, the suicide rate fell by 20%. Despite this statistic, in 2017, 680 people in Scotland took their own lives and there is evidently more work to do. As part of a regional initiative, South Ayrshire Council Community Safety Partnership have developed a programme of workshops for secondary schools as an early intervention strategy to contribute to the national action plan, in which “suicide is no longer stigmatised” and “through learning and improvement, we minimise the risk of suicide by delivering better services and building stronger, more connected communities” (Scottish Government, 2018). Using a case study from an applied drama project in which two short plays are presented to secondary school pupils alongside an information session, this paper outlines how drama is central to the fulfilment of this national strategy. In outlining the project, I demonstrate the efficacy of performance as a tool to explore real life scenarios and in effecting change in young people’s understanding of and attitudes to suicide. In using drama to prompt discussion that empowers change, it is hoped that early intervention can play a valuable role in improving mental health wellbeing and attitudes to suicide as well as nurturing more tangibly connected communities thus improving general wellbeing.


Conference'Building Bridges' in Applied Arts and Health, Education and Community
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Read between the lines: using drama as a tool to change attitudes towards suicide among young people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this