Youth mental health in the spotlight

October 12, 2022 BY

Free community performances in Mount Gambier & Naracoorte

The Rain Maker’ is a multi- platform performance arts project designed to educate youth audiences around a range of themes that are impacting youth mental health today and it will be showcased in both Mount Gambier Naracoorte this month.

Set in a football club, ‘The Rain Maker’ depicts the struggles of two young players and their coach.

Star footballer Billy Jackson is destined for a future in AFL but events are threatening to derail his dream. His best friend Howie is the target of bullying. As a male dancer living in a small country town, it’s taking its toll. Joining the football club helps, but its only when Howie seeks counselling, does he recover his self-esteem, mental health and identity.

Coach Wikileaks is there to support the players, but he too is preoccupied with an imminent threat. The club haven’t made finals in three years and the committee are threatening to replace him with AFL great Bernard Merriton.

Written by Megan Rigoni, directed by Chris Thompson and with original music by Gully Thompson, ‘The Rain Maker’ employs comedy, drama, music and dance to engage youth audiences.

Each performance is followed by a Q&A facilitated by Standby, where audience members are invited to discuss the various themes portrayed in the play.

‘The Rain Maker’ delivers the mental health messages in a way that is entertaining, immediate and highly relevant while stressing the importance of mateship, mentors and professional care in times of crises.

Studies show that farming communities in Australia experience mental health problems at twice the rate of the general population, with ‘rural stoicism’ and fear of stigma are common barriers to sufferers seeking appropriate mental health care.

‘The Rain Maker’ is designed to educate youth audiences around a range of issues relating to youth mental health care, including encouraging audiences to:

  • be proactive and mindful of their mental health care
  • seek professional help when needed
  • access early intervention mental health services such as Headspace, Lifeline and Beyond Blue
  • talk to friends, family and colleagues about their feelings of vulnerability, grief and loss
  • accept that life can be difficult, but in time will improve
  • break down the stigma associated with mental illness
  • support family and friends in their mental health journey

‘The Rain Maker’ will be appearing at Mount Gambier’s Wehl Street Theatre on Wednesday, October 19 and Naracoorte Town Hall at Thursday, October 20. This is a FREE community health event.

To book, go to rainmaker_naracoorte for the Naracoorte performance and head to StandBy Support After Suicide for more details to book for the Mount Gambier event.

The performance is targeted at youth but we encourage youth and their parents to attend, along with any other adults who may be interested in attending.