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Theatre for Positive Mental Health: New Europe-wide, transnational project

Date posted: 23 May 2018

Image shown: Theatre for Positive Mental Health

Ireland’s Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company is the lead partner on Theatre for Positive Mental Health, a new Europe-wide, transnational project using creative processes of theatre and film to promote positive mental health and well-being.

Supported by Erasmus, Theatre for Positive Mental Health promotes collaborative exchange and mutual learning between five partner organisations, two from Ireland, and one each from Spain, Italy, and Latvia. The programme brings together artists and educators to explore the use of creative processes to promote positive mental health and coping strategies for dealing with stress and anxiety.

The five partners are Smashing Times Theatre and Film Company, Dublin (lead partner); EURORESO, Naples, Italy; Biedriba Eurofortis, Riga, Latvia; Fundacion Intras, Valladolid, Spain; and Trinity College Dublin.

According to the Europe Mental Health Action Plan, 2013-2020, mental health disorders are one of the greatest public health challenges in the European Region as measured by prevalence, burden of disease and disability. Mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, are the main cause of disability and early retirement in many countries and are a major burden to economies, demanding immediate and sustained policy action. According to the Europe Mental Health Action Plan, all sectors of society have a responsibility in terms of promoting positive mental health and the best way forward is to develop a multi-sector approach made up of cross-sectoral working partnership involving a range of organisations from governmental level to independent community based organisations.

It is in response to the Europe Mental Health Action Plan and the current mental health crisis affecting people of all ages, that the five partners have come together to run Theatre for Positive Mental Health. The aim is to work collaboratively to develop a range of creative tools and processes that adult educators can use to promote positive mental health and coping strategies for stress and anxiety. The project is aimed at adult educators who work with young people, adults aged 18 and up, and adults of all ages, in third level educational contexts, in youth and community-based contexts and in wider educational and public contexts.

The partner organisations will come together through five collaborative partner exchanges to share good practice and collaboratively combine their existing expertise, knowledge, and work practices that already have a successful track record in order to create a new European wide creative arts programme to be implemented by artists and health care educators in each partner country using theatre and film to promote positive mental health and well-being.

The project will result in the creation of a book, a theatre workshop model, video demonstrations, and a short creative art film, promoting positive mental health and well-being, and coping skills for handling stress and anxiety.

For further information visit www.smashingtimes.ie

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