South Perth: Old Mill Theatre raises awareness for Mental Health Week with Night, Mother

Joondalup resident Caroline McDonnell plays Jessie in Night, Mother.
Joondalup resident Caroline McDonnell plays Jessie in Night, Mother.

|THE importance of checking in with family and friends is reflected in a play about suicide during Mental Health Week from October 7 to 14.

Night, Mother, performed at Old Mill Theatre from October 4 to 20, delves into the harsh realities of mental health issues and suicide within society.

Caroline McDonnell leads the cast as Jessie, a woman in her 40s with epilepsy who systematically prepares for her own death after moving in with her mother Thelma after her marriage breakdown.

She shares her plan to take her own life with her mum, who frantically tries everything to stop her and comes up with reasons why she should choose to live.

Ms McDonnell said the 90-minute play encouraged people to make sure they checked in with those around them and have the often uncomfortable conversations that go with it.

“So many times we’re afraid we might offend somebody by asking if they’re OK and questions if we’re going to open up a can of worms, but sometimes that can of worms needs to be opened in order to get to the bottom of an issue,” she said.

“Leaving it closed is like a pressure cooker for the person who feels so isolated and alone, so talking about it helps and asking people if they’re OK is important.”

Ms McDonnell said the play asked the question ‘what would I do or say if someone told me they wanted to end their life’ by watching the twists and turns of the performance.