‘Flash mob’ by West Notts College students shines spotlight on mental health

Staff and students at West Nottinghamshire College perform an end-of-term 'flash mob' to a dance routine to raise awareness of mental health.
Staff and students at West Nottinghamshire College perform an end-of-term 'flash mob' to a dance routine to raise awareness of mental health.

A ‘flash mob’ to a dance routine to raise awareness of mental health lit up the end of term at West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield.

It was the brainchild of English tutor and amateur dancer Charlotte Marshall, whose brother David took his own life in 2017.

Since his death, Charlotte has been determined to shine a spotlight on mental health and emotional wellbeing, particularly the importance of talking about it.

Each year, people across the world take part in the International West Coast Swing ‘Flash Mob’, and this year’s event takes place on September 7, which would have been David’s birthday.

The poignancy of this inspired Charlotte to organise small-scale version of her own at the college before students finished for the summer.

She was joined by dance partner Melvin Young, students Anzelika Laura Lugononoka, Lucy Maddocks, Erin Wheatley, Harry Rushworth and Joshua Rawlinson, and staff member Vicky Martin.

Charlotte said: “The idea of the ‘flash mob’ was to get people talking.

“Mental health is still a subject that people find awkward to raise. I wish I’d noticed something wrong with David and been able to reach out to him.

“It would have been a difficult conversation, but potentially life-saving.”