Mental health can be a sensitive and challenging topic to approach.
We use creativity in our education to engage participants in a new way, allow for new perspectives and allow for new pathways to exploration around mental health. We also adopt core creative process to support learning
We encourage participants to embody mental health problems, symptoms or solutions. This may involve creating group still images of what anxiety may feel like, or what depression may feel like. Using the body can give participants a way to explore topic content non-verbally, allowing engagement with topic content without having to verbally share any previous experiences or emotions which may be difficult.
Dramatic distancing refers to the space that is created between difficult topic content and the participant by the dramatic work. For example, it is easier to play a character in a performance who is living with a mental health problem than to talk about your own mental health problem. Often the participant can relate to the character in order to reflect on their own experience. This space between the character and the participant is called the dramatic distance and by exploring the character, participants can explore their lives indirectly.
By offering group performance, participants can learn about working with others to discuss mental health, normalising sharing and decreasing isolation and loneliness around the topic. Group performance also allows for deeper learning with a wide range of experiences and ideas channeled in to one final presentation. This encourages participants to follow a thorough and complete thought process around mental health, familiarising them with the topic content.
Participants can also benefit from witnessing other group performances or individual embodiments, performances or characters. Watching others dramatic representations can allow for communication between participants about mental health which is beyond words. Often, people can find talking about mental health and their experiences very difficult and may feel that they are alone. But by watching the experiences of others, they may realise they are not alone or that their experiences are not unique.