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Introduction

Mindframe Stage and Screen Senior Project Officer holding a trade display.Welcome to Mindframe for stage and screen, which provides practical advice and information for people involved in the development of Australian film, television and theatre. It is designed to help inform truthful and authentic portrayals of mental illness and suicide.

This site is an accompaniment to the resource booklet Mental Illness and Suicide: A Mindframe resource for stage and screen which provides information about audience impact and some key issues to consider when developing storylines that include mental illness or suicide, as well as providing some contextual information about these issues.

To go to News items for stage and screen click hereOn this site, users will find more comprehensive facts and information on mental illness and suicide, as well as downloadable research evidence and useful contacts. The site also provides a password secure Industry Area, which includes audio, video and written testimonials by people who have experienced mental illness in the real world.

Both the hard copy and online resource have been developed in consultation with Australian scriptwriters and mental health consumers, carers and service providers.  

 

Background

Funded under the Mindframe National Media Initiative, Mindframe for stage and screen is a partnership between the Hunter Institute of Mental Health, the Australian Writers’ Guild, SANE Australia and a group of nine Australian scriptwriters. The Mindframe National Media Initiative recognises that all media have an important role to play in influencing social attitudes towards and perceptions of suicide and mental illness.

Film, television and theatre can exert a powerful influence on community attitudes towards mental illness and suicide. In March 2007, a workshop brought together Australian scriptwriters with people directly affected by mental illness and those working in mental health. This established the need for resources that would enhance the development of more truthful and authentic portrayals of mental health issues rather than portrayals that perpetuate current myths and stereotypes. To obtain a pdf copy of the outcomes report from the planning workshop in March 2007, contact the Mindframe project team

The resource booklet and this accompanying website provide information about audience impact and some key issues to consider when developing storylines that include either mental illness or suicide. The resource also provides some contextual information about these issues. 

The print and web-based resources are designed to help scriptwriters to continue to include fresh and original portrayals of mental illness and suicide that are accurate and authentic. The resources will also ensure that:

  • When suicide is incorporated into a story on stage or screen, that it reinforces the attitude that there are alternatives to suicide and that help is available;
  • Depictions of mental illness are based on accurate information, challenge stereotypes and myths about mental illness and encourage people with mental health problems to seek help;
  • People involved in the development of film, television and theatre understand the impact of portraying suicide and mental illness on stage and screen, based on evidence from up-to-date research;
  • Research on suicide and mental illness and reliable sources of information are available to scriptwriters when preparing a piece; and
  • Appropriate contact details are provided for services to help people distressed or prompted to act by a fictional drama piece. 

Download an electronic copy of the full resource book, Mental Illness and Suicide: A Mindframe resource for stage and screen. For further resources, go to download resources.

For information on Mindframe for stage and screen, or to order a hard copy of the free resource booklet, please contact the Mindframe project team.

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