The Big Anxiety Festival continues to innovate mental health support
Scientia Professor Jill Bennett, Director of the Big Anxiety Research Centre at UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, and founder of The Big Anxiety Festival is available for interviews about The Big Anxiety Festival and innovations in mental health support.
“The Big Anxiety represents a new cultural approach to mental health – one that can address the deficits of the current medicalised system” says Prof. Bennett. “We use art and design capacity to reimagine support that is trauma-informed, people-centred and grounded in lived experience”.
Founded in 2017, the Big Anxiety Festival is a pioneering mental health and arts festival, developing innovative approaches to trauma-informed mental health support. The aim of the festival is to focus on lived experiences of mental health, trauma and suicidality, and exploring the diverse ways in which art and design collaborations can provide valuable psychosocial support, while reframing experiences of trauma and distress in ways that normalise rather than pathologise.
The Big Anxiety Festival in Naarm/Melbourne is a major collaboration with RMIT and a range of venues including Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), Federation Square and Yarra Ranges Museum.
Running until 15 October, Big Anxiety Research Centre led projects include:
- Creative media for mental health showcase, featuring VR innovations in mental health at ACMI
- Artist Anita Glesta’s large screen work UNNERVED in Federation Square
- A new augmented reality project with storm affected communities in the Yarra Ranges
- The Edge of the Present – VR suicide prevention project – at Warburton
- Spaces between People – an immersive media and video project at RMIT galleries—each shedding new light on lived experiences of mental health.
The Big Anxiety Research Centre team are also delivering a two-day experiential forum at Storey Hall on Oct 6-7.