Theatre as a Tool to Recovery (THEATRE). Developing Theatre by and for Mental Health Care Service Users in the Context of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Housing Services (THEATRE)

Main funder

Funder's project number304125

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 300 000,00

Funding program

Project timetable

Project start date01/10/2016

Project end date30/09/2018


Psychiatric suffering and its treatment affect mental health care service users' ability and possibilities to belong in multiple ways. This pilot project develops Theatre as a Tool to Recovery in the context of social-psychiatric rehabilitation of mental health care service users and supported housing. Based on the PI's ethnographic research on the meanings of home and the possibilities of applied theatre in young adult service users’ rehabilitation, this project engages another group of service users in the development of an organization providing housing services for hundreds of users. In brief, the project engages the service users in a theatre production where the participants explore the issue of home with services users and staff of other units in the organization in interviews and workshops. They will then, together with the researcher and a professional theatre director, develop a theatre performance based on these findings, and perform it to other units. These performances will be followed by a discussion and, ideally, lead to further understanding and recognition of the hopes, needs and problems of the
service users to find housing and belong. The aims of the project involve
a) exploring, developing and testing the possibilities of theatre as a means and tool for social psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery
b) investigating, exploring and voicing psychiatric service users’ and the staff’s experiences on housing services and facilities
c) developing theatre as a tool for enhancing sense of community and services within the organization in a situation where structural changes and the increasing tendency to support service users in their own homes decrease the possibility of the organization to function as a therapeutic community as it was originally designed to do.

In the rapidly growing field of arts in social and health care sector, the novelty of this pilot project lies in its active engagement and employment of the service users in organizational development through theatre. In health humanities, art is now being discovered as a space for mutual recovery, i.e. a space where people working in mental health care sector, service users and informal carers can actually mutually benefit each other - or, recover together, by engaging in art. The THEATRE project thus functions space for sharing experiences and understanding the various standpoints the service users and employees have in relation to the notion of home.

Principal Investigator

Primary responsible unit

Fields of science

Follow-up groups

Profiling areaSchool of Wellbeing (University of Jyväskylä JYU) JYU.Well

Related publications and other outputs

Last updated on 2024-17-04 at 12:49