Released free online and in support of World Suicide Prevention Day, short virtual play ‘Hi, Stranger’ explores suicidal thoughts through the lens of online dating.

“As with all mental health difficulties, talking is so important,” notes writer/director Kristen Brookman. “Feeling isolated is a common symptom of suicidal thoughts, and I wanted to tell a story that allowed that vulnerability to be shown, then challenged.”

On her hopes for the play, Brookman, 21, is unwavering, “There is absolutely no shame in sharing our vulnerabilities. I want anyone who watches the play to remember that.”

Online dating is the perfect way to reach, emotionally, a young demographic – who are increasingly vulnerable to suicide. And fittingly, Hi, Stranger is set amid a COVID-19 lockdown, with its two central characters meeting for the first time via Zoom.

“Admittedly, grounding the film in a Zoom call was necessity over design, given COVID-19, but in retrospect, the limitation became a blessing – I was free of all distractions and better able to express the value of conversation.” says Brookman, an award-nominated young director from Basingstoke, Hampshire.

“If anything comes out of this, I hope it’s that people are simply encouraged to talk to each other and not be afraid to approach these subjects with loved ones”.

Released in support of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), ‘Hi, Stranger’ stars Tom Lewin, Penelope Yeulet and was released Wednesday 9th September and you can watch the live-streamed event below.