Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health
Stepping Stone Theatre For Mental Health is a theatre company for mental health users, carers, health care workers, family and friends. It was set up by actors Bill Rodger and his wife Kate who has bi-polar disorder and Bill is also her carer. It runs writing workshops and creates testimonial plays, and also runs workshops for mental health groups. Through testimonial theatre it aims to educate about mental illness, and promote tolerance and better understanding to rid the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Stepping Stone has a thriving community, and is a supportive place for people with mental health issues to come together, share and express themselves, free from stigma. They had regular performances and writing groups, however when the pandemic forced us all into lockdown last March, their activities had to stop, almost overnight.
With the help of a grant received from the NET Coronavirus Appeal through Lincolnshire Community Foundation, they were able to purchase specialist radio equipment and quickly set up an online platform to move their existing services online. They launched an online radio show last year which has aired more than 180 ‘Live Talk’ shows to support its members during lockdown, covering issues from self-harm to suicide awareness. The success of these online discussions led to the team producing a podcast and has helped to create peer mentor support groups.