Lanarkshire group uses performing arts to promote positive mental health

A mental health group that teaches people the performing arts has had a big impact in Lanarkshire.

Fool On was started six years ago by Wishaw man Stuart Doig after he couldn’t find any other similar bands.

Stuart, who suffers from anxiety, OCD and schizophrenia, now has a team of volunteers running four groups a week in Lanarkshire.

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The group aims to help people who have mental health issues by teaching them about music, comedy writing and acting.

This idea came to Stuart after he used stand-up comedy to combat his anxiety and shyness.

Stuart told Lanarkshire Live: “We started Fool On after looking for similar bands and couldn’t find any.

“We have a great team of volunteers who teach people various skills in the performing arts, like instruments and comedy writing.

“People can even come and do karaoke.

Music teacher Martin Greechan (left) with drum and guitar students

“The group’s goal is to use the performing arts to help people improve their mental health and confidence.

“I’ve dealt with similar issues in the past and it’s through acting and the performing arts that I’ve been able to gain confidence.”

Fool On meets weekly in Wishaw, Forgewood, Cumbernauld and Bellshill and groups are open to all.

They also hope to expand the service to other parts of Lanarkshire and run their own shows.

“We are always looking to expand and start more bands if the demand is there.

“We also have our show at Club 100 in Motherwell at the end of June. It’s a fun opportunity for our service users to show off their skills. »

You can find out more about the group here.

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