Jas’s story

This short drama follows the experiences of 15-year-old carer Jas, whose mum has a mental illness. He has to look after his mum as well as his little sister, while also dealing with schoolwork and bullying by classmates.

The film explores the every day difficulties children of parents with a mental illness face due to increased responsibility in the home and judgement from others thanks to the myths surrounding mental illness, while also considering the long-term affect it may have on their mental health.

Teachers/facilitators notes:

If you are using this film as part of a lesson or workshop, you might find the information below useful to support thought provoking activities and discussion.

Classroom activity

Ask the students to note down on post-it notes whilst the film is playing any phrases/words they hear that they think might stigmatise.

Ask them to add any other words on the post-it notes that they can think of that might also stigmatise.

The facilitator or teacher puts an empty chair in space at the front of the room and demonstrates the next part of the activity before the students.

Each student in turn sticks the note on the chair saying the word or phrase as they do so. The activity is complete when all the words have been added to the chair.

Facilitator/Teacher: “Look at the chair. What affect do you think this will have on someone hearing this who is worried about their own mental health? Or someone they love?”

Discuss the fear of speaking out and letting others know your feelings. Develop this discussion as this is where the real learning takes place.

Further reading and viewing

Have you or has someone close to you been affected by the issues dramatised in the film? Would you like to find out more about mental health, mental illness and ways to become more resilient? Our Time has a library of free resources which anyone can access and use.

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