Supporting the stage and screen industry, one portrayal at a time

Mindframe recently collaborated with the Australian Writer’s Guild to support more than 50 professionals from the stage and screen industry at an event showcasing how they can play a positive role in the portrayal of mental ill-health and suicide

The ‘Getting it Right’ event included a Mindframe training session as well as a panel discussion with playwright Mary Rachel Brown and a number of other influential screenwriters and directors followed by an audience Question and Answer session.

Everymind Suicide Prevention Project Lead, Sara Bartlett said Mindframe works with professionals at all stages of writing and production to ensure stage and screen professionals are supported to produce safe and responsible pieces of work.

“You don’t have to be at any particular stage in your writing or production to engage with the Mindframe team,” Ms Bartlett said.

“You can contact us at every step of the creative process, to chat about an initial idea to explore the reasoning behind incorporating suicide or mental ill-health into a plot line, at the first or final draft of the script, the initial storyboard or after the first cut of rough video content.

“The Mindframe team can provide evidence-informed feedback and guidance to ensure the final material is safe and accurate.

“Our guidance doesn’t end there, we can assist at a post-production level or in theatre productions to ensure portrayals minimise harm to vulnerable individuals.”

The Mindframe guidelines are evidence-based and provide guidance around the use of contextual information regarding suicide and mental ill-health.

Critical considerations within these guidelines include audience impact, misconceptions and stereotypes to avoid as well as facts and statistics.

“Stage and screen professionals have a unique opportunity to promote and portray content which is authentic and encourages help-seeking behaviour in our communities,” Ms Bartlett said.

“Something as small as including help-seeking advice at the end of a production or making a deliberate choice not to explicitly show method or location when it comes to suicide can make a massive difference when it comes to audience impact, especially among those who are vulnerable.

“We encourage stage and screen professionals to engaging with Mindframe whenever their subject matter touches on suicide or mental ill-health.”

For more information on Mindframe’s work with the stage and screen industry visit: https://mindframe.org.au/industry-hubs/for-stage-and-screen.

If you’re working on a project that portrays suicide or mental ill-health, get in contact with the Mindframe team:
https://mindframe.org.au/contact-us.

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