What is MindPlay?

MindPlay is an exciting annual drama competition for Year 11 students in the Hunter and surrounding regions that provides an accessible means for young people to explore mental health topics and win cash prizes for their school.

MindPlay LogoThe competition fosters creativity and connection among students, while promoting mental health awareness and early help-seeking behaviours.

MindPlay has been managed by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health (HIMH) since 1997 and has partnered with headspace Maitland and headspace Newcastle since 2011.

About the competition

Students are required to research, write and perform a 15-minute drama piece on a mental health topic.

They act out their drama piece in an Audition round where they perform in front of a panel of three judges. Six finalists are chosen to compete in a Grand Final event.

During the Grand Final event, judges select the top three performances and award prize money for the benefit of the students and school community.

Who can enter

MindPlay is open to Year 11 drama students from the Local Government Areas of Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Wyong, Gosford, Cessnock, Maitland, Port Stephens, Great Lakes, Greater Taree, Gloucester, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook and Scone (see map).

Information for 2016:

MindPlay 2016 - ON HOLD FOR REVIEW
until December 2016

MindPlay will be put on hold for 2016, as the Hunter Institute of Mental Health focuses on a strategic planning process where all projects will undergo review. 

Drama teachers are encouraged to continue to raise awareness of the important issues MindPlay encourages young people to explore around mental illness, mental health and wellbeing. Teachers are also encouraged to continue using the MindPlay model and resource information page, for developing dramatic pieces throughout the year.

To assist with questions about the decision to review MindPlay, a Frequently Asked Question's list can be downloaded here.

Download FAQs

If you would like to provide your feedback about MindPlay and the review process, a brief 10 minute online survey can be accessed here:

Have A Say

Updates about the review process will be provided on the MindPlay Update section of this website as well as on the MindPlay facebook page.


For all enquiries related to MindPlay, please contact the Hunter Institute of Mental Health
MindPlay Coordinator
T 02 4924 6933
E Kim.McNaughton@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au   

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MindPlay Evaluation Reports

MindPlay evaluation reports for 2011, 2012 and 2014 are currently available to download in PDF format.

2014 Evaluation Report

2012 Evaluation Report

2011 Evaluation Report

Last updated: 05 February 2016