Play at Knoxville church shines a light on youth mental health issues by bringing them to the stage
The Tennessee Department of Health said that suicide rates in the state are around 29% higher than the national average.
WBIR TV – Author: Chrissa Loukas Published: 11:11 PM EDT October 23, 2022
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Sunday, a group of performers gathered at Overcoming Believers Church for a special play. It’s called “You’re Worth It,” and it focuses on the impact of suicide. It also showed some of the ways people recover from mental health issues.
“The hope was that someone will see themselves in the play and get healed or find a way of dealing with their issues, and their mental health,” said Will Dorsey IV, the director of the play.
The story revolves around an upcoming audition for a talent show in high school. It focuses on a person who has suicidal thoughts, but nobody realizes it. The play also explores the ways suicidal ideation impacts the character’s relationships and performance.
“A lot of times, things of this nature are swept under the rug and they’re not addressed. So being this character, I’m able to display it out into the forefront so people can really address these issues that are really going on,” said Denzel Hendricks, the lead actor in the performance. “As long as I’m able to touch a heart or soul in a positive manner, in an impactful way — that’s the most important thing.”
The group said they wanted to reach children too, connecting with them and showing them it’s okay to have mental health issues, but also reminding them they need to ask for help. They can’t struggle with mental health issues in secret.
“What you need to do is have enough courage to recognize that you need help,” said Edouard Junod, the president of Vet to Vet Tennessee, an organization that provides mental health services for veterans and helped organize the play. “We wanted to get out here and get to the children because it’s the second-leading cause of death for children.”
The group said they did not think children would sit through a typical presentation about mental health. However, the group said they thought there was a chance to connect with children through art.
By the end of the show, the characters are able to find ways they can manage their mental health. In the end, they are shown together with plenty of love between them.
Country Singer/Songwriter Camo Brian closes the final You’re Worth It 2022 at Overcoming Believers Church with the cast. As you can see, everyone was on their feet!
Finale October 23, 2022
Cast, crew, clinical and logistic team!