Drama Sessions: “An exploration of all aspects of the dramatic arts leading up to the performance of a monologue or duologue completely composed during the course”
Music Sessions: “A four week culmination of the musical training Headpace peers have received ending with a recorded performance determined by the group”
Who are we?
Based at the Octagon Theatre, Headspace is an exciting and creative outlet for people with Mental Health issues, without direct focus upon these. A forum where people can freely express their individuality and utilise their skills by focusing on positive, personal, social and professional achievement and success, not on mental health. Headspace promotes positive change for the individual and challenges misconceptions often held by society.
‘Headspace has helps people to develop their skills because we are challenged to work at a higher level but in a safe environment. We are supported to try new things and to develop in-depth understanding to a professional level. We are not treated differently because of our mental health problems.’ (Headspace Participant)
Headspace is an expert by experience led organisation. We started 10 years ago in response to a lack of local quality creative provision for young people experiencing mental health issues within Bolton, and focus on creativity and leadership for participants. Headspace has evolved by challenging traditional stigmatised perceptions of mental health and is now training participants to become skilled leaders and artists, re-defining their roles from passive recipients of services to active deliverers of creative workshops and training.
- To provide quality participation in the arts for people with experience of mental health issues
focusing on the creative development of all participants by offering access to sessions in a variety of creative mediums delivered by experts in their field. Our provision is no less ambitious because it is delivered for; or by people with experience of mental illness.
- To create a legacy of high quality, expert by experience led creative provision
Our creative programmes are designed to empower people with mental health issues to adopt leading roles confidently across the project and beyond. Our programmes consistently challenge societal and self perceived limitations around mental illness. We focus on people’s strengths and potential as opposed to their difficulties.
- To change the narrative of mental illness
We believe people have unique strengths and qualities and by tapping into these we are able to channel the conversations about mental health away from societal discriminatory perceptions of individuals with experience of mental health issues i.e., ‘that they are less capable or dangerous’. In this way, we also seek to promote positive change in self-perception from our leaders who refer to themselves as ‘artists’ and ‘leaders’ as opposed to ‘users of services’.
- Partnership and Mutuality
We approach everything with the idea of mutuality and reciprocity in mind. Everything, from our creative direction to our organisational structure, is directed by the group. This leads to genuine meaningful involvement which in turn helps with a sense of ownership and creates a community atmosphere. We aim to show that this model is both achievable and desirable for quality mental health provision.