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Blackout mental health research planned at PLASA 2019. Friday 13th September 2019

Posted by Andy Lenthall on

Blackout” – the 6 minute immersive mental health installation will be featuring at this year’s PLASA Show, taking place at London Olympia, Sunday 15th– Tuesday 17thSeptember 2019. 

Project Blackout are very pleased to reveal an exciting industry evaluation to run alongside the installation.

Once again teaming with Dr Paul Hanna, Research Director in Clinical Psychology at The University of Surrey the Blackout team are bringing academic analysis to the exhibition as part of the installation.  A questionnaire has been devised to conduct the first evaluation on mental health awareness specifically within the UK technical backstage entertainment industry.  Since Blackout launched in May, Dr Paul Hanna has been working closely with the creative team to run an evaluation into the impact of experiencing Blackout.  “This is an extremely important ‘first step’ into addressing mental health awareness in the UK technical backstage entertainment industry and we are pleased to have Paul back on board to provide insight into mental health issues throughout the sector,” explains Mig Burgess, creator of Blackout.

“Throughout the PLASA Show, visitors will be able to experience Blackout and from this we will attempt to record and quantify both our industry’s overall awareness as well as gain an insight into how many people suffer with mental-health related issues,” continues Mig.

The evaluation has been funded by leading industry associations PLASA, ALD, ASD ABTT, PSA, all of whom recognise the importance of supporting this research which will impact their membership organisations.  The Blackout team see this as a further commitment as an industry to move forward and tackle this rising issue of mental health.

Theatre Director Simon Anderson, who worked closely with Mig Burgess on Blackout adds: “This is a chance for us as an industry to show that we are on the front line in the battle against prejudice, stigma and fake news when it comes to mental health. We are fighting to make this beautiful industry of ours even more inclusive, patient and compassionate than it’s already famed for.”

The Technical Backstage Entertainment Industry Mental Health Evaluation can be found online by scanning the QR code below. 

“We invite anyone and everyone from the technical entertainment backstage sector to participate. We would encourage anyone whether you plan to attend PLASA or see Blackout (or not) to join in with this survey. By giving us your insight you will be helping us gain valuable knowledge in the fight to help with tackling mental health issues in the backstage environment” urges Mig.   

In conclusion Mig smiles.  “I am thrilled to see that Project Blackout has brought about this exciting research into mental health in our backstage industry.  This is exactly the kind of thing I had hoped for when creating the project over two years ago.  Having Blackout at the PLASA Show is another great example of many companies coming together to make Blackout happen, but this research is another collaboration of key trade associations coming together to get this research off the ground.  I am excited to see the data and look forward to working with our industry to evoke a positive change to help people with mental health issues within our industry.  We need to keep the discussion going and promote awareness about mental health, working to reduce the stigma attached to those that suffer.

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