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State of Mind

State of Mind is a statewide theatre and public dialogue tour aimed at community listening, tackling stigmas around mental and behavioral health, sharing resources and exploring strategies for care across our communities.


What is State of Mind?

From September 2024 to May 2025, State of Mind will bring an interactive theatre and public dialogue event to over twenty (primarily rural) Montana communities. This touring campaign is statewide public engagement- a listening and planning forum co-created with community members across the state and a small group of Montana-based artists/facilitators and mental & behavioral health professionals.


We aim to enhance mental & behavioral health in Montana, particularly for its most vulnerable residents by: 

  • Making local behavioral health resources more visible

  • Strengthening local networks of advocates, providers, educators and leaders

  • Tackling stigmas around seeking mental and behavioral health support

  • Activating youth voices in the identification of local needs and visions

  • Exploring & normalizing care strategies for friends, family, and neighbors

  • Listening. Bringing local perspectives into statewide conversations.

Image by Steven Cordes

Photo by Steven Cordes, Montana Photographer


Care Commitments

Centering Youth Voices 

In addition to the touring play, State of Mind is offering free student workshops and professional development opportunities for staff, administrators, and local health service providers.


The school-based offerings connect to the touring play's themes and share the common goal of using creative activity to tackle stigmas and to host and support community conversation around behavioral and mental health. Ideally, a student workshop during the school day is followed by an after-school adult workshop for school and local health personnel. The content will center student-led visions of care, or “Care Commitments”, within school communities.

Student Workshops: 
Using creative facilitation, improvisation, story-telling and conversation, students will: imagine what communities of care can look like on their campus and in their community; practice offering and seeking support; break down myths around mental health; gain clarity on local support resources. The workshop results in a “Care Commitments” document, a set of recommendations that adults can use to continue building and providing safe and healthy school policies and practices for every student.  

Professional Development for Staff: Using creative facilitation, improvisation, story-telling and conversation, staff and local health providers will: learn and practice new tactics for hosting classroom and campus conversations; bring local mental health professionals and advocates into dialogue with school staff to strategize around resource visibility and accessibility; explore how they can support and amplify the needs and visions expressed in the “Care Commitments” developed in the student workshop.

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Why the Arts?

State of Mind will engage in culture work in over twenty communities across Montana

from August 2024- May 2025.

Many believe shifting how we discuss behavioral and mental health across our state could be a meaningful contribution to better health outcomes for all Montanans.


Shifting the conversation could mean community members redefining care together, it could mean residents feeling safe seeking help, it could mean community members sharing responsibility for helping others seek help.


Shifting the conversation requires culture shift. Which requires culture work.

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