ZANE KHAN reviews Mites at Tristan Bates Theatre.  Mites, written by James Mannion and directed by Marcus Marsh, is a play that intends to illustrate the bleak nature of mental health through the lens of an absurdist drama. It is a psychological drama, dealing with issues of loneliness, mental health and emotional abuse under the eyes of two imposing male figures on the heroine of the piece. The play consists of three characters, all within the same dramatic setting of the living room area. Credit must be given to the set and costume designer, Cecilia Trono, for creating a setting that encapsulates the deteriorating nature of the vulnerable within the play. Ruth, played with conviction by Claire Marie Hall, is a lonely woman, abandoned by her husband, who lives with her anthropomorphic cat, Bartholomew.  Richard Henderson’s performance as Bartholomew is wry and witty; excellent in his ability to develop the…Continue Reading

Mites

A poem by CLAUDIO CAMBRA. noise Iʼm used to it. they said, I said, this is how it is. all this noise and everyoneʼs listening. everyoneʼs looking. talk to the ceiling but quietly, the keyholeʼs watching. somewhere out there the keyʼs going to come kill me. twenty thousand seatbelt threads ready to rip and throw me through the windshield and everyoneʼll hear me die. scratches on the wall I hear the nails scraping on the wall counting the times I breathe waiting for the last one to pass. shapeless faces staring through the frosted windows. listening through the blindfolds as I try to sleep. they tell me theyʼre coming. through the vents and through the windows. all I tell them is the same: Iʼm used to it. Featured image courtesy of Claudio Cambra Gomez

Schizophrenic

SAVAGE Sounds presents ‘Mental Health’, the second podcast from George Horner and Alizay Agha. In this mental health-themed edition of the podcast, we hear from Comparative Literature student Charley Katan, who reads some of her poetry and discusses how she channels her relationship with mental health through her work. We also speak to Lissa Eve Darby and Harriet Cooney from the SANE UCL Black Dog Campaign. SANE is a leading UK mental health charity that seeks to improve the lives of anyone directly or indirectly affected by mental illness. The Black Dog Campaign is SANE’s UCL anti-stigma campaign, and battles to demystify the stigma around mental health. For more information, see the SANE Website, Black Dog Campaign Facebook page and UCL: Fund Our Mental Health Facebook page. UCL Psychological Services were contacted but declined to comment.    Other services available are: Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 UCL Psychological Services  London Nightline:  020 7631 0101 For a full list of mental health helplines,…Continue Reading

PODCAST: MENTAL HEALTH

THOMAS CURY outlines the demands to fund and improve UCL’s Student Psychological Services.   There’s a mental health crisis going on across universities in the UK, and UCL is certainly not exempt. Within the last 10 years, the number of students who have disclosed mental health issues to their institution has increased fivefold to nearly 15,000 students. Student dropout rates due to mental health problems have also skyrocketed, with a record 1180 students leaving university early in 2014-2015, a 210% increase from 2008-2009. In 2015, some 87,914 students had requested counselling. As more students seek out mental health support than ever before, UCL’s services have been exposed as severely overstretched, understaffed and underfunded. The ever-increasing student body at UCL, which has risen from 19,000 in 2006 to 39,000 today, has not been matched with a corresponding rise in funds for the Student Psychological Services (SPS). A 2016 report conducted by the Student Union…Continue Reading

Fund Our Mental Health Services