S37: Mind Blank: What Is Forum Theatre? How Are We Changing The Lives Of Our Young Australians?

Go back to Resource Library
By September 26, 2017 No Comments

Authors: Alison Kelly

Year: 2017

Event: 2017 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Community, Culture, Society,Lifespan – Children, Youth, Adults, Older People,Suicide Prevention,Change, Innovation, Reform,Wellbeing,Promotion, Prevention, Early Intervention

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: Mind Blank is a charity that generates awareness and innovative education of mental health topics in youth across Australia. To date we have hosted more than 100 similar forum theatre workshops around Australia. We've directly impacted over 20,000 young people on mental health and wellbeing topics.

Our program aims:
* Provide a socially inclusive event to young people and their peers focusing on mental health, stigma and help seeking/ peer support.
*Both the performance and the following interactive discussions help to remove the stigma of mental health challenges held by young people, and the lack of awareness, as both these issues can be barriers to early intervention.
*To build collaborative partnerships which will seek to educate the young people and key educators about mental health issues and pathways to seeking help, with the aim of decreasing poor outcomes in at risk young people.
*To empower young people into apply self-care techniques.

Evaluation research results show that young people have reported to listen, take in and remember the information more readily in this format than in other formats they have experienced, this demonstrates a high level of engagement with the performance and the effectiveness of this approach.

Learning Objectives
Learning Objective 1: The audience attending the MHF Conference will walk away from this presentation with a firm understanding of what is Mind Blank, we will share how we are changing the education of mental health issues and the lives of our young Australians, we will explain the intervention format of choice, as well as highlighting our program aims, research evidence, we will provide some examples of our current program partnerships and also explain why our work remains relevant to existing mental health services.

Learning Objective 2: In sharing the above knowledge our team hope to communicate how our intervention is offering support to mental health service providers. We are creating a change in pathway to some of the more traditional methods of health promotion. Our team helps to begins conversation about young people’s mental health and we ensure that they know where support is in the community, be it at school, through peer connections or through early intervention services.

Somers J. (2008) Interactive theatre: Drama as social intervention. Music and Arts in Action, (1), 61-86.
Rickwood, D., Deane, F. P., Wilson, C. J. & Ciarrochi, J. V. (2005). Young people's help-seeking for mental health problems.
Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, 4 (3), 1-34.

This resource is only available for subscribers. If you have a subscription, please log in. Otherwise, click here to purchase a subscription.