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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Mental health comedy theatre initiative

A new theatre initiative was recently piloted at the User Carer Conference involving the Lived Experience Reference Group (LERG) led by Christopher Gale and Trevor Kettle.

The initiative was a unique partnership between the Faculty and Fareham & Gosport Service User Network (SUN) Group, and involved SUN service users and our own James Wilson performing a comedy sketch show.

The sketch show was written by the SUN Group, directed and produced by James Wilson, and performed in front of a 300-strong audience of mental health professionals and second year student nurses and midwives.

Despite having little or no previous experience SUN’s creative writing group wrote and developed the material using personal experience whilst its drama group brought it to life. The sketches were underpinned by an educational message and raised questions amongst the audience about the many social issues faced by mental health service users.

The show was extremely well received at the conference and feedback has been incredibly positive from all involved.

Christopher Gale and Trevor Kettle are now looking at this initiative as a template for the Faculty to engage with other service users.

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