Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Committed to smashing mental health stigma

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 was ‘let nature in’. It’s pretty difficult to let nature in when you are being held against your will in a room with the windows bolted shut. For Wellington comedian, storyteller, and former psych ward resident, Clarissa Chandrahasen, being locked up was a reality. Putting a human face to the diagnosis of bipolar disorder, award-winning theatre show Committed returns for its BATS debut.

The future of mental and emotional support in Aotearoa is under the spotlight with a government inquiry into our Mental Health & Addiction services. Concurrently, there is the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s aspirational goal to eliminate the use of seclusion by 2020. That latter being personally relevant to Chandrahasen’s story. “Connection with people is one of the keys to recovery from mental distress. Seclusion only serves to add to that trauma. My experience of the Mental Health System was something I needed to recover from,” says Chandrahasen.

Not only has she recovered, Chandrahasen is living a dream that the medical profession shrugged off as a delusion - turning her story into an award-winning solo show. With passion, wit and glitter, Committed is a story of recovery for those suffering, their supporters and frontline health care providers. “I consider Committed my contribution to the fight for more compassionate mental health care in this country.”

Committed is back by popular demand after a sold-out season and winning the Parkin Development Award, with Chandrahasen being nominated for Most Promising Emerging Artist, at the NZ Fringe Festival 2018. Her brave and informative show has lots of laughs and surprises not to be missed. Expect to be enticed by an orange k-bar at a wondrous slumber party!

Committed runs for five nights only from Tuesday 6th to Saturday 10th November, 8pm at BATS Theatre, 1 Kent Tce. It is written by and starring Clarissa Chandrahasen and directed by Tabitha Arthur. Tickets are $14-$20 and are available through

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland