Ann Akin, the founder of Harts Theatre Company has joined forces with Laura Darrall’s viral campaign #ItAffectsMe to put an end to the stigma towards mental health.
1 in 10 people aged 5 – 16 suffer from mental ill health, this equates to 80,000 young people in the UK or around three children in every school classroom. To help these children they’ve created the IT AFFECTS ME: I AM NORMAL mental health art festival. It is a youth-led festival for all ages, created to give young people a voice and a chance to realise they are not alone in their struggle. That mental ill health is normal and they don’t have to suffer alone or in silence. The festival has been co- designed with young people from NCS: The Challenge.

The festival will comprise of workshops, talks by notable speakers including Angela Samata (BBC1 BAFTA winner of the Mind Media Award for Best Factual TV documentary, Life After Suicide) and Johnny Benjamin (award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger) to name just two.

Plus, five film screenings and several live music and theatre performances by various artists. There will also be an art exhibition of work by young people NCS challenge, together with food and information stalls. A ‘one stop’ festival on mental health, for anyone who is interested, touched by or affected by issues surrounding mental health.

“Nothing is better placed to give young people a sense of identity, confidence and self-worth than participation in the arts and no art form better than drama to explore safely the crucial, but largely ignored arena of mental health.

The careful, skilled and knowledgeable work that HARTS Theatre Company undertakes goes right to the heart of this issue and, with immense sensitivity, enables young people to begin to understand and empathise with this key part of what it means to be human”. – Michael Attenborough CBE

HARTS Theatre Company focuses on using performing arts to help young people find their voice to create social change, and to bridge the gap by providing Arts education to all. HARTS wants to open up a broader conversation on mental health issues, create an artistic platform for young people to express themselves and shake up perceptions of what is normal.

_mg_8733“It’s imperative the Arts are accessible to the inaccessible.” 
-Ann Akin 
Date: 28th August 2016
Location: Arts Depot,  5 Nether Street Tally Ho Corner North Finchley London N12 0GATime
Tickets: Standard – £10, u25s – £5
For more information, please visit –