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

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As part of a regional initiative, South Ayrshire Council Community Safety Partnership developed a programme of workshops for secondary schools to contribute to the Scottish Government’s Suicide 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 2018:3). Using an applied drama project titled Read Between the Lines as a case study, this article outlines how drama is central to the fulfilment of this national strategy. Utilizing David Kolb’s (2015) experiential learning cycle to evaluate how young people benefitted from 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 doing so, I suggest that more tangibly connected communities are created as a means of improving general wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-294
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Arts and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Kolb
  • Scotland
  • Wenger
  • Community of practice
  • Drama
  • Mental health
  • Suicide


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