To commemorate the premiere of Space 22, an original documentary series that tackles the ways in which art and creativity can impact mental health, the ABC is hosting an online event, All In The Mind, to discuss the upcoming series and the topic of art as a social prescription to support mental health.


The event will take place on the 5th of May, 2022 at 12pm via Zoom. The event begins with a discussion of the upcoming series featuring ABC Manager of Factual and Teri Calder and ABC Executive Producer of Impact and Partnerships, Julie Hanna. This will then be followed by a discussion moderated by Sana Qadar, featuring the panellists:

Natalie Bassingthwaighte – Singer, Performer & Host of Space 22

Katherine Boydell – Professor of Mental Health, Black Dog Institute

Georgie McClean – Executive Director, Development and Strategic Partnerships, Australia Council for the Arts

Rachel Green – Chief Executive Officer of SANE Australia


“There is a growing body of evidence illustrating the positive impact of engagement with the arts on mental wellbeing. A comprehensive WHO report shows that participation in, or exposure to, the arts can have many positive effects. For example, the arts can both protect against, and play a role in the management and treatment of, ill health. Arts interventions address social determinants of health by facilitating social unity and reducing discrimination and inequality.

Among the range of options available, arts interventions are well suited to address the needs of individuals impacted by mental health challenges. Arts on Prescription interventions (where participants engage with arts and artmaking) offer a framework to look beyond clinical interventions to non-medical community activities and assets in supporting the prevention and treatment of mental illness.

Such arts programs are one component of a broader remit of social prescribing initiatives, rolled out broadly in Canada and the UK. Evidence demonstrates positive outcomes in adults as a result of these interventions – they enhance recovery from mental ill health; facilitate social inclusion for those with mild to moderate depression and anxiety; reduce anxiety and depression symptoms; increase self-confidence; produce feelings of empowerment and wellbeing; enhance quality of life; and contribute to positive mood.

Art on the Brain is a 6-part TV series being produced by BBC Studios for the ABC. The series features a group of 7 people with mental health challenges who engaged in various arts-creation workshops supported by artists.

Boydell and her team conducted the research for the series to allow us to determine the impact of participation in workshops that use visual, performative and literary art methods to share experiences of mental health in a safe environment, working with artists to create artworks together.” – Katherine Boydell, Professor of Mental Health, Black Dog Institute


Following this online event, Space 22 is set to premiere on Tuesday the 17th of May at 8pm. The series examines the ways in which art and creativity can impact mental health and features Australian singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte, as well as Abdul Abdulla, Wendy Sharpe and Eddie Perfect, in collaboration with Katherine Boydell from the Black Dog Institute and psychotherapist Noula Diamantopoulos. These artists and researchers help seven strangers improve their mental health through creativity.


“The transformation of the participants during the experiment was incredible. They came in a little reserved about it all, to leaving with new creative tools that, not only do they enjoy doing, but more importantly have improved their mental wellbeing. Plus, through sharing their experiences they’ve created lifelong bonds. I have caught up with a few of them since the show, it’s so lovely to have shared the experience. My hope is that the audience is inspired by the positive impact being creative can have and decides to give it a go for their own mental wellbeing.” – Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Singer, Performer & Host of Space 22


More information regarding the All In The Mind online event can be found on the event page, and more information regarding the Space 22 online series can be found on the ABC website and in this featured video:


Feature Image: Space 22 with Natalie Bassingthwaighte. Image by Australian Broadcasting Agency, from ABC Website.
Quotes sourced directly from Katherine Boydell, and from ABC website.
Article post by Rosa Clifford.