Systems of Sanity
A ground-breaking theatre project asking the hard questions about mental health and the mental health system
Systems of Sanity was two-year Applied Theatre project that aimed to empower and educate a group of people with lived experience of mental ill-health, and to challenge and educate audiences about mental ill-health. It culminated in a sold our three night performance season in June 2023, followed by a 2 week online streaming season.
19 participants took part in the program with 7 in the final show that played to a total audience of 258 audience members.
It was particularly successful in decreasing loneliness and social isolation for the participants, and increasing the rate of physical exercise. The impact on audience members was profound, with 85% of audience members who saw the show live reporting an increased in empathy for people with lived experience of mental ill-health, and 85% reporting an increased understanding of the barriers faced by these people.
The project had other flow on effects as well, with extensive media coverage, and anecdotal reports of the project facilitating difficult conversations within families about experiences of mental ill-health.
Systems of Sanity was supported by the ACT Government under the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program, and assisted by Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres.