Community support needed for Mockingbird to hit big screen

Researchers from the Western Sydney University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and theatre professionals from New Zealand are asking for community support to crowd fund the development of a film adaptation of Mockingbird. A unique play which uses music and humour to raise awareness of women’s tragic experiences with postnatal psychosis.

Mockingbird, funded via the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, has been performed as a play since 2014 but was updated in 2016 after the play’s developer Lisa Brickwell was introduced to research led by Western Sydney University. The research analysed hospital records of women admitted to mental health facilities at Callan Park and Gladesville Hospitals in Sydney from 1885 to 1955.

Dr Diana Jefferies, from the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery and lead on the research project, said the analysis of health records provided important insight into the cause, diagnosis and treatment of women with mania or psychosis due to pregnancy or childbearing.

“What was most evident in our research is how little these women were listened to during that time. Health professionals have come a long way in the treatment and diagnosis of maternal psychosis and mania, but there is still a long way to go. This is why Mockingbird is such an important project as it is not only entertaining, but a tool for educating both healthcare professionals and the community about mental distress after childbirth,” said Dr Jefferies.

“Mockingbird, which portrays four generations of women who have experienced mental distress after the birth of a child, really strikes a chord with audiences because it is an authentic portrayal. Furthermore, the performers have all experienced postnatal distress following childbirth.”

The project is being funded through the Australian Cultural Fund via:

https://australianculturalfund.org.au/projects/mockingbird-project/

To watch a snippet of Mockingbird go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bfdLbzWpDI&feature=youtu.be

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