Briefly in English

Sopimusvuori Association provides social psychiatric and preventive mental health services. There are 7 rehabilitation units, 6 in Tampere and one in Hämeenlinna. Annually we have about 1000 service users. Our units provide work, educational and group activity and vocational rehabilitation.

Sopimusvuori was established in 1970. It is the first Finnish mental health association which uses the approach that is based on the idea of a therapeutic community. Additionally Sopimusvuori develops its functions constantly through different kinds of projects. Sopimusvuori Association organizes education, participates in national and international cooperation in the health and social care field, does research and provides publications.

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On August 7-9 2018, the project organizes a small international theatre festival.

The THEATRE Project
Theatre as a Tool to Recovery (THEATRE). Developing Theatre by and for Mental Health Care Service Users in the Context of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Housing Services is a two-year project, funded by the Academy of Finland.
It started in Sopimusvuori in October 2016 and engages service users in developing housing facilities through drama.

MAIN GOALS
1. to test and develop drama methods as part of social-psychiatric rehabilitation
2. to enhance housing facilities

THE DRAMA GROUP
The project engages service users at the Näsinkulma Clubhouse in a theatre production. The group is trained to carry out drama workshops to collect information on service users’ ideas, experiences and ideals about home.

DRAMA WORKSHOPS
During the spring 2017 the theatre group carried out drama workshops in the housing facility units of Sopimusvuori to collect information on the service users’ and employees’ experiences and ideas on the various meanings of home. The drama workshops were adjusted to the needs and desires of the residents in each unit.

PERFORMANCE
Based on these drama workshops in different units, the THEATRE group prepared a performance Sketches for Home. Our first performance was in Bratislava, Slovakia during the International Festival of Homeless Theaters, ERROR, in November 2017. Since then, the play has been performed in Sopimusvuori and e.g. at the Annual Conference of Social Work Research.
The THEATRE project functions as a non-judgemental space for sharing experiences and understanding the various standpoints the service users and employees have in relation to the notion of home.

DOCUMENTATION
The actions and activities of the project are documented through photography and video. The documentation is carried out by the service users.

OUTCOMES
For the service users THEATRE provides a range of means to express themselves and voice their experiences and develop their skills through drama.
For Sopimusvuori and other housing facility organizations the project provides improved practices within the facilities, experience-based expertise of the service users and evidence-based research for improving the quality of services.
At the end of the THEATRE project we will prepare an open access video and a hand-book of good practices in both Finnish and English to be distributed through our networks.

INTERNATIONAL TRAINING AND NETWORKING
• Visits to ERROR festival in Bratislava, Slovakia in 2016 and 2017.
• Visit to Bristol, Stepping Out Theatre in 2017

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
please contact
• Riku Laakkonen, Theatre Director: riku.laakkonen@kolumbus.fi
• Saara Jäntti, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Jyväskylä: saara.j.jantti@jyu.fi
kotiteatteriprojekti@gmail.com
The project is led by theatre director Riku Laakkonen who is in charge of the artistic project and PhD Saara Jäntti who is in charge of the project’s implementation, reporting and dissemination of research results.

THEATRE