A THEATRE has been lit up in green to show its support for Mental Health Awareness week.

Darlington Hippodrome is also ensuring it has a trained mental health first aider, who will be able to help staff and anyone attending a show if they experience a mental health crisis.

This year’s event has been focussing on loneliness, which affects one in four adults.

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Senior House Manager Andrew Hutchinson-Clish is currently completing a Mental Health First Aider course to allow him a greater insight and to be able to assist staff and members of the public attending the theatre.

He said: “It is so important to understand and recognise the signs of mental health issues whether it be a member of staff or someone who has come to see a show. There are many ways to help people battle any issues such as exercise, meditation, reading and, of course, coming to the theatre.

“Theatre allows people to connect with other people in a group experience, it allows them to talk about how a show made them feel. It also helps people understand that it is OK to show raw emotions.”

“I wanted to complete the mental health first aid qualification as I felt I had a duty of care as a manager of staff at Darlington Hippodrome and also a responsibility to our customers. In the same way the managers are trained in first aid in case of accident and emergency I felt that I wanted to be prepared to assist anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.”

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