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

Whats happening


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  • Merici Collage

    Event

    Merici Collage

    29 Jun 2017 Merici Collage

    Mind Blank will be performing our Cyber-bullying script to 141 year 7 students at Merici Collage in Canberra. Find out what other programs we have? https://www.mindblank.org.au/mind-blank-for-schools/ 

  • Mulwaree High School

    Event

    Mulwaree High School

    28 Jun 2017 Mulwaree High School

    Our team will be presenting 3x shows at Mulwaree High School in Goulburn. 

    Mulwaree supports Positive Behaviour Learning that focuses on the values of
    Opportunity, Responsibility and Respect. At MHS we take pride in supporting
    and providing opportunities for all students to  excel in their own
    education. We aim to develop a sustainable school community that values the
    wellbeing of staff and students in order to promote a culture of success in
    a variety of endeavours. We see Mind Blank as an opportunity to engage our
    students with an interactive performance that will address relevant youth
    mental health scenarios.

  • Uniting Burnside – Robert Townson HS

    Event

    Uniting Burnside – Robert Townson HS

    19 Jun 2017 Uniting Burnside – Robert Townson HS

    Mind Blank will be performing at Robert Townson High School, funded by Uniting Burnside (Campbelltown). 

    "Uniting Burnsides Bridges For Youth Program is an early intervention Program that supports 12-17 year olds and their families. Our caseworkers support teens with challenges such as self-esteem, healthy communication, goal setting, disengagement with school, anger management, time management and emotional regulation over a twelve week period. We put in place whatever resources or strategies necessary to assist young people in achieving their goals, becoming independent and reaching their potential.
    Bridges works across the Campbelltown, Camden, Wollindilly and Wingecarribee regions. We also offer skills based groups to students and parents to assist with specific needs.

    Bridges maintains an ongoing partnership with Robert Townson High School, supporting students one on one and in group based settings throughout the school year. Mind Blank was contacted after both Bridges and Robert Townson identified the need for students to be more aware regarding identifying and addressing mental health issues within themselves and their peers. We believe Mind Blank will be a great addition to year nines practical understanding of mental health challenges and how to seek assistance if they or someone they know are experiencing mental health concerns."

  • Blog Spot - Leading a New Generation part 5

    Blog

    Blog Spot - Leading a New Generation part 5

    14 Jun 2017 Blog Spot - Leading a New Generation part 5

    What's it like to live with someone with mental illness?

    Think of their journey like a rollercoaster, only you don’t know what is going to hit you from day to day. Some days everything runs so smoothly, other days you can’t plan anything and you have to stop everything you’re doing. The whole experience can leave you feeling emotionally drained.


    The only way to survive with tenacity it is to:
    1. Build your own resilience.
    2. Try not to take the mood swings personally
    3. Create your own personal support system
    The people in your support system can be your helpers. Knowing who the right people to let in can take some lessons to learn, but if you find a true friend among them they will be there to support you though think and thin.
    Timing can be critical. It can be awkward to ask people to lean on them, but it is essential. The hardest lesson to learn when you are emotional/hurting is to rationalise that it is the right time to call a friend

    Personal survival tips:
    1) Give the young person space to heal.
    2) Let the young person know you are there for them
    3) Your own self-care is important to priorities.
    4) Help with little things around the house. E.g. Small gestures a like doing an extra load of washing or cooking a meal can go a long way
    5) Don't be afraid to check in on them. Often when someone is suffering they can isolate themselves and hide in their room alone. There is no harm popping in from time to time to see how they are going. Sometimes they could be in the mood to talk
    6) Be patient. Overtime this step may challenge you, however each individual has to go through their own journey. Mental illness is not a choice but recovery is.

  • The June Chairman's Report

    Blog

    The June Chairman's Report

    14 Jun 2017 The June Chairman's Report

    Dear Mind Blank Fans and Followers,

    The Mind Blank board has decided to continue with the Chairmen Report blogs, by creating a monthly board members update. Today is my please to share with you some of the results from the TEAMhealth and Mind Blank tour to the NT.

    Some of the survey evaluation outcomes from the tour:

    “• 90% enjoyed performance

    • >65% of students said they learned something new and that our program taught them new skills.

    • >65% feel more confident to seek mental health support

    • 100% of teachers satisfied with the program and would consider booking again.”

    On tour there were many first for Mind Blank. For Example: 

    - We have never engaged with such large audience numbers. E.g. 2,500 young people participated in our workshops. Our largest event hosted 400 students in one sitting.

    - Our team performed at the school in Don Dale Youth Detention centre.  We have never worked in a prison before.  We have learnt there are some potential partnership opportunities on this area. 

    - We have never before engaged with such young audience members before. Out in the Communities a lot of the areas do not have High Schools and so the age groups we performed to ended up being ages 6-13. We learnt we could easily adapt the shows according to the age groups and we have received great reviews from the schools affirming the value in our programs.

    - Our team have never had the opportunity to work with so many Aboriginal communities. Working with TEAMhealth was a great lead in. The students were all familiar with their organisation and Sacha (who was the social worker on tour) helped us adapt some subtle changes to help our team add more cultural relevance to each of the areas we visited.

    In order to create ongoing results in the Northern Territory, firm support and funding is needed.  We already have ongoing requests to come back to Darwin, as well as new invite to tour Maningrida and Alice Springs communities.

    Along with TEAMhealth's support, further strategic plans are being developed in order to achieve a sustainable vision for the area.  

    We thank you for supporting the Mind Blank team, as we grow and venture into new exciting initiatives. To end this report, I would like to leave you all with a final message today.

    Remember: no matter what you are going through, you are never alone! There are a variety of phone and web based services to offer you help and advice if you or someone you know are experiencing mental health related issues. - See more at: https://www.mindblank.org.au/helpinfo/#sthash.bSSf7EOW.dpuf

    Don't forget to donate before June 30 to maximise on your tax return.  See more at: https://www.mindblank.org.au/donations

    Our team will touch base again with you all next month.

    Regards,

    Mind Blank Ltd Board

    “ Reducing the risk of youth suicide through interactive performances in schools and communities”

  • Trampolining – It’s great for your mental health!

    Blog

    Trampolining – It’s great for your mental health!

    02 Jun 2017 Trampolining – It’s great for your mental health!

    Trampolining – It’s great for your mental health! 

     

    Bouncing on a safe trampoline, like a Vuly, may be an activity that we associate with smaller kids, but it can also be beneficial for teenagers and adults alike. It isn’t just fun for the moment! It’s an easy way to exercise, which gets your body producing endorphins and hormones. These chemicals variously bolster your immune system and can help reduce anxiety and tension. Plus, bouncing is a great way to spend more time outside and away from screens and electronics, which can make us feel gloomy.

     

    Our friends at Vuly have provided one of their trampolines to raise funds at our upcoming Brisbane Careers Expo event on 2 and 3 June 2017! We’ll be raffling off tickets to win a Thunder Summer XL, valued at $3,000 (including delivery). This trampoline is fully enclosed and has no dangerous coil springs or contact zones – using unique Leaf Springs to power the bounce.

     

    Find out more about our event here https://www.mindblank.org.au/whats-happening#mind-blank-brisbane-careers-and-employment-expo 

  • Mind Blank @ Brisbane Careers and Employment Expo

    Event

    Mind Blank @ Brisbane Careers and Employment Expo

    02 Jun 2017 Mind Blank @ Brisbane Careers and Employment Expo

    Mind Blank will be featured at Brisbane Careers and Employment Expo. This event is an opportunity for students, job seekers and  career advisers to connect with organisations for guidance.   

  • Yarra Ranges Youth Summit 2017

    Event

    Yarra Ranges Youth Summit 2017

    29 May 2017 Yarra Ranges Youth Summit 2017

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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.  

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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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