Mental Illness Education ACT

Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT) is a not for profit community organisation that recruits, trains and supports people to tell of their stories and experiences with mental illness, with the aim to reduce stigma, increase knowledge and encourage getting early help to secondary school students and the broader Canberra community.

Evaluation, by the centre for Applied Psychology at the University of Canberra, of MIEACT's school education program, showed that there was an increase of understanding of mental illnesses and a reduction of stigma and negative attitudes towards people with mental health difficulties.

MIEACT has worked in the ACT community for the past 16 years and over that time has developed many creative and positive ways to enable people to ‘tell of their travels with mental illness’. These include “Any Body’s Cool’ a short play and workshop ‘intervention’ for years 7 and 8 girls that examines body image issues, “Opening Minds” a weekly half our radio show that talks about mental illness on 2XX 98.3fm Tuesday’s from 6.00pm, a youth info and where to go for help web site, ‘Casting Light’ a series of short plays that explore the complexities of relationships and mental illness and other publications.

MIEACT’s most recent creative story telling project is ‘Moving Minds’ a collection of 13 stories showcased in short digital films.

Collections

‘Moving Minds’ are a series of 13 two to three minute short digital films that explore the many varied worlds experienced by people living with mental illness. From depression to bi-polar, post traumatic stress disorder and anorexia the stories all fearlessly delve into the psyche of the storyteller. The stories are frank, fragile and funny and include tales of homelessness, road-trips to beyond, visits from the green man and the quandary of being sane by choosing to live between the lines. Moving Minds are a unique collection of first person Australian stories; from people who’s stories often remain hidden and untold.

FILMS

Denial by Matt - 3 min 23s

How many psychotic episodes does it take to realise the cost of using marijuana? Matt becomes homeless before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Phoebe's story 'Mums other black dog' by Annie - 3 min 34s

Introducing a telepathic dog and cat who teach their Mum to deal with all the stuff in her head. Together they help her recover from depression.

Roller coaster by Greg - 3 min 30 s

Study and academic success were Greg's best coping strategies. He now knows his bipolar disorder like a friend and together they ride the roller coaster.

The stolen years by Jenni - 2 min 54 s

At age 21 Jenni finally got help for an eating disorder, but who stole her adolescence? Featuring a Year 10 photo you won't forget.

My trip to Perth by Charmaine - 2 min 42 s

Canberra to Perth - a road trip with a difference. Charmaine recounts her first psychotic episode that preceded her diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Recovery by Michael - 4 min 02 s

Michael talks about his recovery from depression in this excerpt from his interview for MIEACT's radio program 'Opening Minds'. Full interview at www.mieact.org.au

Sins of a child by Rosie - 2 min 16 s

Rosie grew up as number 20280. Her experience as a state ward left her with post-traumatic stress disorder. She's now in recovery and a Remembered Australian.

Gardening all year round by John - 4 min 35 s

John's been caught gardening at 3 am under floodlights. He lives with a mild form of bipolar disorder and discovers what grows in winter.

I was so lucky by Lisa - 3 min 46 s

When Lisa's mother died she left her a letter. Lisa's replies, paying tribute to her mother's love, patience and hope that helped her recover from anorexia.

I can remember by Isabel - 2 min 26 s

Isabel stared death in the eye. Her diagnosis with a mental illness changed everything. She chose life.

Persist by Laurie - 3 min 03 s

Laurie's experiences as a soldier during the Vietnam War left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. How many doctors does it take to finally get help?

What's normal when you have Bi Polar Disorder by Jo - 4 min 11 s

Jo manages her bipolar disorder with medication. This delivers one sort of 'normal' and she continues looking for a 'normal' that suits her better.

In a fix by Jacqui - 3 min 32 s

Jacqui's psychiatrist tells her to get back on the horse. Her recovery from complex post-traumatic stress disorder features ice cream, and a man who waits.