The theatre charity, Odd Arts UK, is putting on an interactive theatre performance for Salford schools using professional actors to help improve mental health.

‘A Spiralling Mind’ acts as a stimulus to encourage people to try to find a solution and act on the matter.

Salford NHS CCG has funded the programme since 2016 with support from 42nd Street Manchester.

Now, every year the group tour around the North West raising current issues and help young people to find personal ways to deal with them.

Actors performing

However, this year the piece is dealing with the anxiety caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ceo of Odd Arts, Rebecca Friel, said: The impact on young people’s mental health is huge. We couldn’t ignore it.”

Due to the lockdowns, people have been struggling to maintain positive mental health.

She said: “I think Covid shut down lots of people’s go-to methods of feeling good, whether that be doing exercise, joining a club, learning things, and seeing friends.

“All these things that people had that knew worked had been closed off, so that caused people’s mental health to be worse, if they had underlying issues, to be worse.”

“It’s really just exasperated what existed before,” she added.

The tour has been pushed back due to the pandemic but schools have needed their support.

“Initially, schools didn’t want anyone external coming in but now they’re actually coming to us and asking if we can come in because they’ve seen real issues.”


Odd Arts UK will now tour in February 2021 around Manchester and Salford.

“It’s a tool, whether or not at that point any young person needs mental health support, we’re getting people to explore how you talk about it and how you access help, how you put things in place and how you recognise other people might be vulnerable”, says Rebecca.

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