Image sourced: At NSW Parliament House Launch Mental Health month 2017 with Ally Kelly Mind Blank CEO, NSW Mental Health Commissioner Catherine Lourey & Clarence Youth Action Network Members.
This information is targeted for all the parents, carers, aunties, uncles, friends and colleagues who may be carers for young people. It is also targeted for the schools and teachers enquiring about more information around Mind Blank’s methodology of practice.
Please Read This If:
1. You have been informed that your young person and/or year group is booked in to see a Mind Blank show.
2. You are curious about what Mind Blank does and want more information on how you can help.
What is Mind Blank?
Mind Blank aims to reduce the risk of suicide through interactive theatre in schools and communities. We do this in partnership with service providers, which are local government funded bodies that are trained in mental health intervention, outreach and crisis support workers.
Showcase story of lived experience with mental ill health.
Alongside Service Providers we create theatre-based performances with audience interaction
1 hour (45 min of forum discussion and interaction)
Featuring 3-4x professional youth actors
Performance topics include; Depression, Anxiety or Custom script
Audience size is up to 200
Why Young People?
“The onset of mental illness is typically around mid-to-late adolescence and Australian youth (18-24 years old) have the highest prevalence of mental illness than any other age group.” (Beyond Blue, 2016) 
Myths Verses Facts
M: My child is at risk if you are talking about suicide.
F: Mind Blank primarily focuses on mental and emotional wellbeing themes. All our shows are based off lived experience case studies and we work alongside the local health district to make sure we are mindful of the content we are presenting. We abide by a harm prevention approach that follows Mind Frame’s agreed codes of practice on reporting about suicide and mental illness.
M: Talking about suicide is a bad idea and can plant seeds/encourage young people to think about it as an outlet.
F: There is a growing trend of arts/health practitioners whom are conducting research to explore measurable outcomes to improved mental health and wellbeing in young people through school programs. Mind Blank programs provide a fun, safe environment to speak about mental health. It allows young people to feel comfortable asking questions. Talking about mental health allows for stigma reduction which increases the chances of young people seeking help in a time of need. For more information about our program evaluations go to: https://www.mindblank.org.au/program-evaluations
We believe in the need to get in early to prevent the impact that mental ill heath can have on individuals and communities. Life Span (2017) an evidence based systems approach to suicide prevention identifies that schools can provide a cost-effective way to reach young people. Our programs help young people identify early warning signs of mental ill health and increase their knowledge on help seeking pathways. For more information about our program evaluations go to: https://www.mindblank.org.au/program-evaluations
Health Promotion is Designed to Raise Awareness
By partnering with health service providers we provide a lead in to opening conversations with schools and outreach support workers. What happens next depends on the individuals. We encourage young people to have conversations with the school, teachers, parents and community.
We all have a joint responsibility to support our youth, provide guidance, educate them on how to cope and give them advice on where they can turn to for help. Our program evaluations indicate that we will get a stronger result with our messages if the school and community get actively involved in debriefing and continuing the conversation.
General theme’s/topics our show content covers:
Communication – sometimes you have to ask for help if you need it.
Seeking help – It’s not easy opening up to letting people know what’s going on.
Seeking help - sometimes you have to build a repour with someone before you can let them in.
Seeking Help - the first person you go to may not know how to help you.
Seeking Help - schools and parents are a great place to get support. There are also online options for support and every young person leaves our shows with all the National Help seeking numbers. https://www.mindblank.org.au/helpinfo/
Peer pressure – It’s hard to say no to peer pressure, however sometimes the best case scenario is just to walk away.
If You Are Worried About Your Young Person:
If you have a young person at home you are concerned about you can always go to your local GP who can refer you to some service providers. Students who are engaged in the school system should have access to welfare support and so we would recommend that you host a dialogue with a school teacher to see where support systems lie in the school. For more information on support that is available go to: https://www.mindblank.org.au/helpinfo/.
Beyond Blue has published some great resources to help host conversations during difficult times.
For More Information
If you would like to know more do not hesitate to contact our team https://www.mindblank.org.au/contact-us.
If you would like to join our quarterly newsletter drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you have an invested interest in supporting our charity go to: https://www.mindblank.org.au/donations
Download Mind Blank Information Flyer: Mind-Blank-2017.pdf
Download Mind Blank Crisis Card: AppendixA-MindBlank-CrisisCard-Final.pdf
Download Mind Blank Parent Information Flyer: Parent-Infomation-Flyer-2017.pdf
Download Mind Blank Teacher Information Flyer: Teachers-Infomation-Flyer-2017.pdf
  Beyond Blue (2016) What is Depression. Beyond Blue Fact Sheets. [online] https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression. Accessed 27.12.2016
 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015) Causes of Death, Australia Statistics [online] http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/3303.0~2015~Main%20Features~Intentional%20self-harm:%20key%20characteristics~8. Accessed 19.07.2017
 Orygen, (2017) Raising the bar for youth suicide prevention. Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. [online] https://www.orygen.org.au/Policy-Advocacy/Policy-Reports/Raising-the-bar-for-youth-suicide-prevention/orygen-Suicide-Prevention-Policy-Report.aspx?ext= . Accessed 19.07.2017.
 Mindframe provides access to up-to-date, evidence-based information to support the reporting, portrayal and communication about suicide and mental illness. http://www.mindframe-media.info/. Accesses 30.09.2017.