About Mind Blank

Our aim is to reduce the risk of youth suicide through interactive performances in schools and communities.

Every 3hrs in Australia someone takes their life by way of suicide, and 15 more 12-17year olds make an attempt (Ref: Orygen, 2017).

About Mind Blank


Why Mental Health? Why Mental Health Promotion? 

Mind Blank is a not-for-profit organisation that generates awareness and innovative education of mental health topics in youth across Australia. Our businesses aim is to help reduce the risk of suicide by increasing early identification of warning signs, advocating positive mental wellbeing practices and increasing resilience to help young people understand and cope with adversity.   
Every 3hrs in Australia someone takes their life by way of suicide (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2015), and 15 more 12-17year olds make an attempt (Orygen, 2017). Youth mental illness in Australian is on an increase. Mental health problems affect young people’s psychological growth and development, health-care needs, educational/occupational attainment, and adverse involvement with the justice system.
It costs Australia $6.29 billion annually in lost productivity, in part because young people with a mental illness find it difficult to remain engaged in education and employment (Dunlevy, 2015).  Australian Bureau Statistics (ABS, 2007) shares statistics that reveal 26% of people aged 16-24 have a mental disorder in any given year. Data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2011) show that only 1 out of 3 of those young people affected will utilise mental health services.
Wahalback’s (2015) research on evidence based practice in public mental health, has observed that there has been a growth of good practice on mental health promotion in schools. In fact, “school programs have consistently been shown to have positive moderate and strong effects on social and emotional skills and competencies.”  (Berkowitz, 2007). 

 

Want to know more? Check out our latest Annual Report Mind-Blank-Annual-Report-2015-16.pdf  

 

 

 

 

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Our Vision


Mind Blank is recognised Australia wide for mental health awareness and education through delivering innovative programs in schools, communities, and workplaces. We advocate a holistic and balanced approach through strategic partnerships and collaborations.

 

Our program aims:

Mind Blank theatre programs are readily adaptable for differing contexts (e.g. urban, rural, remote and CALD settings). Our team have found that Forum theatre is an appropriate method for engaging young people.

Young people who participate in the program will

* enhance their knowledge around mental health issues

* know where to seek support

 

Like what we do? Why not donate to the team?

Programs


Our Programs: 

To date Mind Blank has hosted over programs to over 20,000 young people across Australia. 

Want to know more about what we have to offer? Please click on the appropriate link: 

Mind Blank for Schools https://www.mindblank.org.au/mind-blank-for-schools

Partnerships and Collaborations https://www.mindblank.org.au/partnerships-and-collaborations

Cultural Collaborations https://www.mindblank.org.au/mind-blank-cultural-collaborations

Leadership Conferences and Youth Mental Health Forums https://www.mindblank.org.au/leadership-conferences-and-youth-mental-health-forums

Transitioning to the Work Place https://www.mindblank.org.au/transition-to-work

Speaking Opportunities https://www.mindblank.org.au/speaking-opportunities  

 

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Evaluations


NT 3

Why Mental Health Promotion? Why use theatre?

Creative arts practices can provide a great outlet to impart skills and development in young people. 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.  Essler, Arthur & Stickley (2006)are an example of this, their study evaluates a school based intervention, conducting surveys that challenge stigmatizing attitudes and promote mental health in teenagers. It is a UK study that uses professional actors to conduct theatre scenes and drama games to deliver the content of the study. Another example is a new method being trialed in Australia through the Black Dog Institute based on a study called Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) which uses a role play format (Wasserman. Et al. 2015).

Mind Blank uses Forum Theatre as a technique to host their mental health education workshops. Forum Theatre is a component of the Theatre of the Oppressed, devised by Augusto Boal. It consists of the acting out of a drama, including at least one obvious social or political error which is then analysed in the second half of the show (called the Forum), and is based on real life scenarios (Boal, 2012). Through education and personal growth, Boal’s theatre techniques offer some great devices to develop skills and increase emotional intelligence. Wasylko & Stickley (2003) study confirms this as they use theatre and pedagogy in the classroom using drama in mental health nurse education settings. deQuandros (2013) uses Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed studies to discuss three practical implications of arts in health care. They are: international campaigning/advocacy, community action education on health and challenging cultures of poverty. 

There is a strong need for more proactive community initiatives to promote mental health and wellbeing. There is a need to support those in high risk groups to help reduce suicide risk in young people. Mind Blank theatre programs are readily adaptable for differing contexts (e.g. urban, rural, remote and CALD settings). Our team have found that Forum theatre is an appropriate method for engaging young people.

Young people who participate in the program will

* enhance their knowledge around mental health issues

* know where to seek support

These links will showcase some of our team’s collaboration highlights:

  1. Results from Northern Territory (2017)
  2. Results from Mooroolbark Community Summit (2017)
  3. Results from Partnership Brokers (2013)

Future recommendations and action plans

- In order to ensure we are systematically collecting data across all our performances Mind Blank is currently formulating a new survey evaluation method to increase our own data collection and outcomes from students, teachers and parents.  This will support robust evaluation and benchmarking or our productions

- We will be using our results collated from our evaluations to help support more action plans to reach out to more young Australians. Currently Mind Blank is often receiving urgent calls to do something to support young people in their area after a tragedy. Mind Blank is able to bring engaging methods of health promotion directly to schools, but ideally we would love to take a preventative approach. This is a challenge for the Mind Blank board, and so strategic plans are being made to address this concern

- In further developing the program more research partnerships are required to strengthen our current foundations of evidence based practice. If you or your organisation would like to work with our team do not hesitate to contact our team through our enquiries page. 

Contact our team now

Events


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  • TheMHS Conference 2017

    Event

    TheMHS Conference 2017

    29 Aug 2017 TheMHS Conference 2017

    MIND BLANK will be presenting at the:

    Embracing Change
    Through Innovation and Lived Experience.

    Join us for the 27th TheMHS Conference in Sydney, Australia.

    Dates: 29 August - 1 September, 2017.

    Venue: Hilton, Sydney.


    Mental Health services across Australia and New Zealand have undergone unprecedented change over the past 10 years. Over the next 10 years we anticipate even more. Adherence to the principles of recovery and recognition of lived experience as key to mental health reform are expanding the range of choices beyond traditional illness management.

    New models, new funding, new providers and the voices of people with a lived experience have informed us about change, innovation and different approaches to collectively improve our systems of mental health support.

    Embracing Change Through Innovation and Lived Experience is a theme that enables new directions and conversations which are based on building on the extraordinary strengths we find in individuals, families, and communities.

  • Blog Spot - Leading a New Generation part 7

    Blog

    Blog Spot - Leading a New Generation part 7

    15 Aug 2017 Blog Spot - Leading a New Generation part 7

    I have a Secret

    “One of the schools I had once worked with shared a story of how they caught a group of young people self-harming. When targeting the individuals in this group, one on the teachers realised that that students were all copy catting the patterns from one of their friends.  This individual was suffering in silence. This was her secret.

    When her friends were asked why they were self-harming none of them could answer.“

    Young people in general can be confused with all the moodiness and life’s regular dramas. Throw in the shame around mental ill health and life can be scaring. Stories like these above do happen.

    Young people who are asked to keep a secret feel the pressure of loyalty to their friends.  Their peers might have had a hunch that something is going on but, they might not have the confidence to ask more questions around what’s really happening. 

    Some practical tips to help you in a time of need:

    1)Seek professional help. There are some great resources online. Here is a great sight that Headspace designed for concerned parents https://www.headspace.org.au/news/headspace-extends-phone-line-for-parents/

    2) Do your research and find out if your loved one has opened up to anyone in their direct next work

    3) Think rationally about what you can do to support the individual

    4) Share your support and communicate that everything is going to be ok

    5) Be open about your own personal experiences

    6) Practise patience with your young person. They may not want to open up to you straight away.

     If you if or someone you know are experiencing mental health or emotional related issues remember to seek help and support those around you. For immediate help click on this link. 

  • Mind Blank Featured Alert: Garry King

    Blog

  • Youth Health Day

    Event

    Youth Health Day

    10 Aug 2017 Youth Health Day

  • Voices in Action Conference

    Event

    Voices in Action Conference

    10 Aug 2017 Voices in Action Conference

    The theme for the 2017 CREATE Foundation Conference is all about creating positive change to improve the lives of children and young people in care. The Conference will be held at the newly built International Convention Centre, Sydney from the 10th to 12th August 2017 and is open to all children and young people with a care experience in Australia. The Conference will also be open to and appealing to carers, government officials and those working in the sector.

    Proudly hosted by CREATE Foundation, the national consumer body representing the voices of children and young people in out-of-home care. CREATE provides programs and services to create a better life for children and young people with a statutory care experience.

    The overall purpose of Voices in Action: empowering young people for positive change is to provide an international forum for young people with a care experience to learn and grow, build self-confidence, and to connect with their peers and those working within the system. The collective aim is to enhance community awareness and to reduce the stigma associated with children and young people with a care experience and to provide them with an avenue to feel empowered, informed, and to have a say and be heard.

    The Conference is an opportunity for children and young people to have a say in the system designed to protect and support them, and engage with key decision makers in child protection.

     

  • My Future Fest

    Event

    My Future Fest

    08 Aug 2017 My Future Fest

    My Future Fest is a joint collaboration between ETC, Clarence Valley Council, North Coast TAFE and Clarence Youth Action Group.

    The one-day event is designed to provide young people in the Clarence Valley, aged 15-21, with bright ideas about their future and different pathways available to them. The event will focus on career, training and health advice.

    The fun and informative event will feature the following:
    Practical demos
    Career & Job Advice
    Training Advice
    Health Advice
    Workshops
    Music
    Free food

    Want to know more? 

  • A Message From the CEO - Traveling to the Clarence Valley

    Blog

    A Message From the CEO - Traveling to the Clarence Valley

    07 Aug 2017 A Message From the CEO - Traveling to the Clarence Valley

    Dear Mind Blank Fans,

    I thought I would take the time to share a story with you today. On Aug 9, 2016 Mind Blank received an enquiry from a local GP in Grafton as a cry out for help to support their local young people.

    “I must have 1 new suicide attempt a week amongst my patients. I would love to engage the local schools about suicide prevention strategies.”

    Through several months of communication back and forward Mind Blank responded with positivity, promise and proactivity.

    In January 2017 the Mind Blank team reached out to a friend and colleague Jennie Keioskie Rural Adversity Mental Health Coordinator SNSWLHD| Rural Adversity Mental Health Program. The Canberra Creative team meet Jennie in 2016 in Bega, when we toured with Grand Pacific Health in October.  

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jennie several years before this when she jumped off the RUOK bus in in Albury. The Mind Blank team were hosting the Albury/Wodonga Youth Mental Health Forum that year. I now feel very lucky to know Jennie because it was through her connections that we were able to meet so many wonderful people from the Clarence Valley.

    Before we knew it Mind Blank was invited to meet with the Clarence Youth Action team. What a group of amazing inspiring young people. Their proactive nature absolutely aligns with Mind Blanks values. In April I had been privileged enough to speak to the town at a steering committee meeting. Toby Davis and I had an inspirational day planning an amazing strategy with the Grafton Youth Action Network. What great bunch of proactive young citizens. Such heart felt stories.


    Collaborations started to form with  Our Health Clarence Steering Committee, Clarence Valley Youth Interagency and Clarence Youth Action Group. These collections include stakeholders such as Bulgarr Ngaru Aboriginal Medical Corporation, CHESS Employment Services, Clarence Valley Council; Clarence Valley Private school/s, CRANES, Department of Education, Lifeline North Coast, New School of Arts, North Coast Primary Health Network, Northern NSW Local Health District, NSW Police, Standby Response Service and New Horizons.

    Tomorrow will be the first time Mind Blank performs in the area for the first time. We will be directly impacting 700-1000 young people from Grafton and the surrounding areas. There are so many groups behind making this week happen! Our team are working towards creating sustainable options for the area. We can not do it alone. If you want to help our team keep impacting more young Australians please do not hesitate to get in touch. We can not do it alone https://www.mindblank.org.au/donations

    DO take care of yourself and those around you.

    Kindest Regards,

    Ally Kelly | Chief Executive Officer

    Mind Blank Ltd

     Image sources: http://ow.ly/CgU030edcM5

     

  • 2017 National Suicide Prevention Conference

    Event

    2017 National Suicide Prevention Conference

    26 Jul 2017 2017 National Suicide Prevention Conference

    We are delighted to confirm that the 2017 conference will be held at the Sofitel Brisbane Central, Queensland, 26 – 29 July 2017. The theme Relationships, resilience and respect: Responding to vulnerability in life will be designed to bring to the fore these thematic issues in suicide prevention and how they may help or hinder implementation of initiatives at the community level.

    Presentation Information

    Title Mind Blank & TEAMhealth Providing Culturally Appropriate and Engaging Mental Health Activities to Youths Across the Top End of Australia
  • Load More

Our Fans

Some of our testimonials

As a psychologist with over 15 years’ experience working with vulnerable youth populations, it is my opinion that the Mind Blank theatre forum topics have the potential to open up informed discussions around youth mental health issues in a way that is meaningful, engaging and real for the young people involved, and these are vital ingredients for working effectively with young people.

Tim Hudman

Youth Mental Health Psychologist

I was introduced to Mind Blank via a performance at Wollongong University. They performed to a student group of about 300 high school students. You could hear a pin drop- they had everyone’s attention, (including my own) in the palm of their hands. It truly was the highlight of the action packed day. In my 13 years as a PDHPE teacher, I have never seen mental health be brought the forefront with such enjoyment, fun and interaction. Their ability to engage students into this taboo topic is brilliant and the ability to keep the conversation going-that is the successful component of Mindblank. I can’t recommend this enough. Students will love it, teachers will appreciate the unique approach it takes to mental health and everyone will benefit from this much needed creative production.

Sharna Dawson

Lake Illawarra Careers Advisor

I thank you for inspiring to face the demons of my past… I consider myself to be a survivor of the battlefield of depression and victor, I look back on things passed and realize I have changed for the better and have come so far and syllable have a long way to go…. Thank you… I’m truly truly grateful to have witnessed Mind Blank at our school”

Young Person

Anonymous

Raising the awareness of positive life decisions when faced with mental health issues. This has been achieved by not lecturing but allowing students to make these powerful decisions themselves through interactive theatre arming them with the skills and knowledge to know when to seek help.

I quote from Warrawong High school principal Jenny Flowers “It was great! Some of our most challenging year 12 students stopped me in the playground and thanked me for bringing Mind Bank to the school, we all learned so much.

Cathy McGhie

Team Leader Student Employment Advisor (Workplace Learning Illawarra)

Tackling youth mental health issues in our community is an ever increasing concern among parents, teachers, and the broader community, largely due to rising rates of bullying, depression, youth suicide and the growing demand on support services such as Headspace.

As a former PDHPE teacher, I understand the critical importance of education to the understanding and addressing of mental health issues in young people, as well as how difficult this can be.

Mind Blank’s programs give young people an in-depth understanding of not only symptoms of mental health issues, but also strategies to positively seek help and prevent harm.  As teachers working closely with students on these issues, I would like to take this opportunity to endorse Mind Blanks work and I encourage you to come along and see how the Scuba Initiative may benefit your students.

Ryan Park

MP Member for Keira

MindBlank Affiliates

Our Team


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Charity


Mind Blank is a health promotion charity, ABN 18 168 485 176, working along side service providers and local health districts. 

We are registered as being a Deductible Gift Recipient by the Australian Charities Not-for-Profit Commission.  

ACNC Registered Charity Logo RGB

Donate


There are many ways you can help Mind Blank. Some ideas include in-kind support offers, monthly sponsorship packages, organising a fundraiser or even one off donations. We welcome your ideas and support to continue our growth to impact mental health outcomes for young people.  

Any donation above $2.00 can be used as a tax deduction.

 

Bookings


Key infomation you need to know prior to booking a Mind Blank Performance:

  • Mind Blank is Sydney and Canberra based, therefore performances booked outside of Sydney/Canberra CBD, rural areas or interstate, travel costs are to be expected.
  • Performance costs: package deals available if booked more than one performance on the same day.
  • Our performances are 1hr in duration.
  • Max audience size 200.

Please note: during all performances we recommend that microphone are provided to the cast. A venue with a speaker is sufficient to plug microphones into, this can in turn increase the quality of our product delivery.

For direct contact from out team call 0468912399

 

Key information you need to know prior to booking a Mind Blank Performance:

  • Mind Blank is Sydney and Canberra (ACT) based, therefore
  • Performances booked outside of the Sydney/Canberra CBD, rural areas or interstate, travel costs are to be expected.
  • Performance costs: Package deals available if booking more than one performance on the same day.
  • Our performances are 1hr in duration
  • Max audience size 200

Please note: during all performances we recommend that microphones are provided to the cast. A venue with a speaker is sufficient to plug microphones into, this can in turn increase the quality of our product delivery.

For direct contact re enquiry/booking a Mind Blank performance call on 0468912399

- See more at: https://www.mindblank.org.au/bookings#sthash.wcx9wq3W.dpuf

Key information you need to know prior to booking a Mind Blank Performance:

  • Mind Blank is Sydney and Canberra (ACT) based, therefore
  • Performances booked outside of the Sydney/Canberra CBD, rural areas or interstate, travel costs are to be expected.
  • Performance costs: Package deals available if booking more than one performance on the same day.
  • Our performances are 1hr in duration
  • Max audience size 200

Please note: during all performances we recommend that microphones are provided to the cast. A venue with a speaker is sufficient to plug microphones into, this can in turn increase the quality of our product delivery.

For direct contact re enquiry/booking a Mind Blank performance call on 0468912399

- See more at: https://www.mindblank.org.au/bookings#sthash.wcx9wq3W.dpuf

Key information you need to know prior to booking a Mind Blank Performance:

  • Mind Blank is Sydney and Canberra (ACT) based, therefore
  • Performances booked outside of the Sydney/Canberra CBD, rural areas or interstate, travel costs are to be expected.
  • Performance costs: Package deals available if booking more than one performance on the same day.
  • Our performances are 1hr in duration
  • Max audience size 200

Please note: during all performances we recommend that microphones are provided to the cast. A venue with a speaker is sufficient to plug microphones into, this can in turn increase the quality of our product delivery.

For direct contact re enquiry/booking a Mind Blank performance call on 0468912399

- See more at: https://www.mindblank.org.au/bookings#sthash.wcx9wq3W.dpuf

Key information you need to know prior to booking a Mind Blank Performance:

  • Mind Blank is Sydney and Canberra (ACT) based, therefore
  • Performances booked outside of the Sydney/Canberra CBD, rural areas or interstate, travel costs are to be expected.
  • Performance costs: Package deals available if booking more than one performance on the same day.
  • Our performances are 1hr in duration
  • Max audience size 200

Please note: during all performances we recommend that microphones are provided to the cast. A venue with a speaker is sufficient to plug microphones into, this can in turn increase the quality of our product delivery.

For direct contact re enquiry/booking a Mind Blank performance call on 0468912399

- See more at: https://www.mindblank.org.au/bookings#sthash.wcx9wq3W.dpuf

For a Mind Representative to contact you please fill out details below

Contact Us


For general enquires
contact us on 0468912399

To enquire or make a direct booking for a Mind Blank performance click here 

Creative team

Please Note:

  • Mind Blank is a health promotion charity and we are not a Mental Health service provider. If you need immediate help or information on existing services please go to http://www.mindblank.org.au/helpinfo/
  • Volunteering for Mind Blank: all current volunteering roles will be advertised though http://www.mindblank.org.au/whats-happening. There are two ongoing positions that we are always searching for (information below), if either type of volunteering involvement interests you please enquire within.   
  1. Our marketing team is always looking for assisting with generating more content for our website and social media blogs.
  2. Fundraisers are needed to help at fundraising events such as market stalls, high teas, recruitment drives, quiz nights, auctions and sausage sizzles.  The best part is YOU CHOOSE what when and how you would like to fundraise for us!

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