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As the R U OK? School Partner, Brainstorm Productions works closely with national suicide prevention charity R U OK? to help Australian school students understand the importance of reaching out and talking to their friends and classmates about life’s ups and downs.

Brainstorm Productions provides live in-school theatre programs to 350,000 students each year. The programs are designed to address student wellbeing and to provide students with day-to-day skills and strategies to deal with bullying, cyberbullying and violence. As part of the in-school programs, students are also provided with information about R U OK? and how to find conversation tips, helplines and lots of conversation resources on the R U OK? website. 

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5 Reasons your School Should be Booking our High School Productions

1.) Reward Positive Behaviour

As more and more schools move from punishment to positive disciplinarian approaches, theatre can be used as a highly constructive reward. Not only will high school students view this as a fun incentive for making well-balanced choices, but Brainstorm Productions theatre programs also reinforce and support school-wide behavioural expectations including anti-bullying, anti-violence, cyber safety and respectful relationships, to name just a few. 

And at a cost of only $6 per high school student*, including comprehensive teachers’ resources, a Brainstorm Productions performance rewards schools too.  

2.) Help Empower Students

Schools and teachers are becoming increasingly entrusted to help equip students with the social and emotional skills required to make positive contributions to society. 

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National Day of Action 8

Friday 18th March 2016 marks the sixth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. National statistics show that one in four, Year 4 to Year 9 Australian students (27%) report being bullied every few weeks or more* and the impact can be far-reaching. 

Bullying can happen to anyone and affects students in different ways; from school involvement to relationships with family and friends as well as student wellbeing, including feelings of self-doubt, loneliness, anxiety, stress and sadness. Brainstorm Productions approach uses live theatre to engage directly with students – be it bullies, the bullied or bullying bystanders. 

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Buddies 2 Anti Cyberbullying at School

What is the number-one social issue for students across Australia? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics CensusAtSchool survey, reducing bullying in schools [1]. Longitudinal studies have consistently found strong links between school bullying and mental health problems with victims at risk of developing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Similarly, perpetrators of bullying are also at risk of developing depression, anti-social personality and substance use disorders [3]. With a long history, over 30 years, Brainstorm Productions helps more than 350,000 students across Australia each year with anti-bullying, cyber bullying and wellbeing education programs via a range of live in-school theatre productions. 

The use of theatre in education can help unite students in a shared experience and is a great springboard for opening up discussion and assisting with change; be it bullying, peer pressure, binge drinking and violence. Research and evaluation have revealed that the ‘overwhelming majority of students demonstrate enjoyment and enthusiasm through watching educational theatre, are receptive and listen attentively, and can correctly identify the educational messages being portrayed’ [2]. In this way, theatre gives strong and emotional lessons to students, whilst being entertaining.

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How does theatre help deliver the anti bullying message in schools, and is it effective? Australia's largest independent women’s website, Mamamia, talked to Brainstorm Productions co-founder Jenny Johnson about bullying, cyber bullying and how Brainstorm Productions uses theatre to bring about effective change and make a real difference in kids lives. Below is a full transcript of this interview:

 

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