Program Evaluation and Suicide Prevention
There is a lot of stigma when it comes to suicide prevention and mental health education. Australian run Orygen foundation, worked in the UK and conducted a comprehensive research review examining 99 studies from clinical educational, workplace and community settings. The study focused on looking at interventions that aimed to reduce harm and suicidal ideation in young people. The outcomes of the program evaluation study showed that integrated approaches were the most promising models for further change. Lead researcher Dr Jo Robinson comments “At a time when we’re seeing suicide rates around the world growing, this study shows us that we should feel hopeful that interventions specifically designed to reduce suicide risk in young people do work and can impact on suicide ideation and self-harm.” The study highlights the importance of evidence based interventions and partnership to combat the growing epidemic.
More information on suicide prevention best practice.
Why Mind Blank?
Theatre use in an educational setting can help students to open up and engage in discussions about their shared experiences and help promote positive change.
The interactive nature of Mind Blank helps audience members reflect on their own personal situations, and come up with solutions that work for them. The audience tries to fix things, and the actors remind the audience that things aren’t always so easy to fix.
Is it appropriate for your children?
We are very aware that age matters when it comes to discussing certain topics surrounding mental health. We work hard to ensure that our content is age-appropriate, and that all measures are put inplace to ensure children aren’t overwhelmed.
Before the workshop, we disclose exactly what type of content the audience will be experiencing, and collect consent forms.We also provide post-performance letters for parents, including a list of questions to continue the discussion at home.
During our school performances, we point out where the teachers and support staff are in the room, to ensure students receive adequate care if they are affected by any of the issues mentioned inthe workshop.
Upon leaving the event, audience members are given a ‘crisis card’ with national helpline numbers, along with a QR code which provides local information tailored to your specific area.
What others are saying about us:
“The show was the best I’ve seen in my three years at school. The topics covered were age-appropriate and addressed the social skills we need in our area. The students talked about the actors longafter they had left, and their presence made a big impact on our students.”
“I asked some of my students what they got out of the performance and this is exactly what they said: ‘there’s always someone to help - you just have to ask.You have to communicate if you want people to know how you feel and to help you.’”
“When we learnt about mental health before,they said ‘this is what will happen, you won’t be able to concentrate blah,blah, blah.’ But we had a different feeling about it after seeing people act itout and see how it would actually affect people our age, how it would affect their life, even in the smallest details.”
“It was good to have us interact with it,because interaction is a better way to take in information. You’re giving information that you think is correct, and getting it confirmed.”
- Searle, K. A. (2017). Breaking down the barriers: Using drama to engage young people in mental health promotion and prevention- A quantitative and qualitative research trial. Master of Science - Research (Psychology), University of Wollongong, Wollongong.
- Mind Blank supported by Courage Partners (2019) Evaluation of Primary School Mental Health Awareness Program Trial. Approved by ACT Department of Education as an internal document.
- Mind Blank supported by Courage Partners (2020) Evaluation of Secondary School Mental Health Awareness Program Grafton.
Current conversations are taking place with Canberra University and Griffith University to support studying the following research questions:
- What are the long term benefits and challenges of Mind Blank’s health promotion activities. Current Progress: An ethics application submitted Canberra University.
- Research evaluation ofthe impacts of Mind Blank mental health education programs in workplaces. Current Progress: An ethics application submitted Canberra University.
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