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Clerkenwell play aiming to help you deal with stress of work

Awele Odeh, entrepreneur and mental health worker Awele Odeh, entrepreneur and mental health worker

Friday, June 27, 2014
3:03 PM

A Clerkenwell entrepreneur and mental health worker will recreate some of her lowest moments on stage to help others deal with stress in the workplace.

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Trained occupational therapist Awele Odeh, who works in Central Street, will put on a play of her personal experiences in front of a live audience.

The mother-of-one is working with arts organisation deep:black to help people manage various work-related issues.

The 37-year-old, who has worked for the NHS for 14 years, said: “Stress can damage our health and emotional well-being and ultimately lead to burnout.

“People who attend should be able to take away some lessons to better deal with it.”

The registered psychotherapist, who juggles motherhood with running a business, knows first-hand how stress can impact people’s lives.

Awele, also a master neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, said: “I used to go to work feeling tired and continue to think about it out of hours.

“I felt pressure to take work home – which would compromise my quality of life. But I know I wasn’t alone.

“The recession has led to a cut in staffing levels in many organisations and a heavier workload for remaining staff.

“The purpose of this event is to use my own example as a tool to more deeply explore and highlight how stress can impact on our quality of life at work.”

The event, which involves input from other healthcare professionals, includes a presentation and discussion about stress and bullying in the workplace.

Awele, who has also introduced a self-leadership training programme, said: “Unfortunately bullying is not just a thing of the playground. We want to shine a light on this behaviour and let people who are affected by it know they are not alone.”

Katharine Yates, co-director of deep:black, said: “The audience will see a performance based on real people’s experiences of stress in the workplace and then have the opportunity to discuss what they see and suggest what the character could do differently.

“Members of the audience will then be invited to change the outcome of the play by getting up and taking the role of the actor on stage.

“This type of theatre means that rather than just talking about ideas for coping better with stress at work, members of the audience are getting involved in finding solutions and are able to try out their ideas as a way of ‘rehearsing’ for real life.”

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