Jake Baxter, co-founder and director of Anti-Social Theatre

A Salford actor who has suffered from ‘painful’ mental health conditions since childhood has launched a theatre company to help others who feel ‘misunderstood’.

Jake Baxter, who studied acting and performing in South Yorkshire, set up the Anti-Social Theatre to help encourage people to open up about their mental health.

The Rotherham-based company was launched by Jake, who was diagnosed with various mental health conditions in his childhood.

“I have suffered with anti-social personality disorder and borderline personality disorder since a young age,” he said. “It has been extremely debilitating and painful to live with.

“I want to provide a platform for education and real life experiences with these issues to help not only those suffering but those who are not, a better understanding of the sufferers to create a world where people like myself are no longer stigmatised and made to feel like villains.”

He also said he wants to make mental health support and information easily accessible as sufferers are often ‘highly stigmatised’ and misunderstood and due to the stigma.

The aim of Anti-Social Theatre is to produce ‘authentic and hard-hitting’ art in order to start conversations about difficult topics.

“The main focus with the company is to create hard-hitting, potentially controversial, theatre to start and develop conversations around mental health and a wealth of other issues,” said Jake.

One of the recent projects Baxter worked on, ‘[un]Forgivable’, explored the topic of ‘Broken Britain’, depicting young people and their struggles with fitting into mainstream society.

For more information about the group, visit Anti-Social Theatre’s website. 

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