What's on Past Events D&D Vault Fest: Let’s Stop Romanticising Depression And Marginalising Other Mental Illnesses 20 February 2016 3-6pm D&D Vault Fest: Let’s Stop Romanticising Depression And Marginalising Other Mental Illnesses The Vaults Leake Street, South Bank, London SE1 7NN I’m Camilla Whitehill. I’m a playwright and I have a mental health problem that isn’t depression. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a rise in theatre (and art in general, actually) being made that explores the stigma and experience of being depressed. That is awesome, and I don’t want to take away from that at all, because it’s important and beautiful. But why aren’t we talking about other mental health problems? What about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, agoraphobia, ADD, Asperger syndrome…? I have found that the art being made about depression has encouraged those suffering with it to feel able to talk about it. But I’m still too embarrassed to tell you my diagnosis in this invitation. The questions buzzing around in my mind are: • Are people afraid to make art about an illness that they haven’t directly experienced? • Is depression romanticized? • What can we do to open up discussion about mental health to include everyone? • What myths need busting about these illnesses? • How can we help, encourage and support theatre makers with a mental illness? • WHEN IS IT OK JUST TO TAKE THE PISS A BIT AND NOT BE SUPER SERIOUS ABOUT IT I’M NOT GOING TO SET FIRE TO MYSELF WHILST WE’RE TALKING • Sorry • I’m not a very serious person, though. I just have a semi-serious mental illness and I manage that by referring to myself as a “legally mad person” • And sometimes I think that if it was the 1700s I’d be in Bedlam or something • Although we all would wouldn’t we, they used to put women away for reading novels I’m writing this the day after David Bowie died, and I can’t help but think that part of his legacy is the idea that art should embrace every single human flaw or quirk and make us all feel part of the same universe. Let’s get together to dig deeper into the artistic exploration of mental health, and work out what we can do to make it better, wider, more inclusive. Bring your experiences, ideas, problems and dreams. And snacks. Please bring me snacks. See you there, Camilla Booking for this event has now closed.