Play spotlights the integration of health and social care

Mad, Bad, Invisible

Date posted

3 November 2017


Student nurses will perform a play about one woman’s experience of falling through cracks in care to highlight the importance of health and social care integration.

Mad, Bad, Invisible tells the story of Anne, a young woman living through a mental health crisis, as she tries – and fails – to get the help she needs from a range of services.

Ultimately, it is only prison that provides her with a safe space for recovery.

Based on real events, the play is performed by students from Edinburgh Napier’s School of Health & Social Care and produced and directed by staff from Comas, a Scottish charity that supports those in recovery from addiction and mental health crises.

The all-female cast will perform the play at Serenity Café (8 Jackson’s Entry, 111 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh) on Thursday 9th November between 6pm and 8pm. Serenity is Scotland’s only recovery café run for people in recovery by people in recovery. 

The performance will be followed by debate led by academics from the Population & Public Health Group in the School of Health & Social Care at Edinburgh Napier University. The debate will focus on how health and social care integration can support those in recovery to make sure that no-one falls through cracks in care. The event is free and all are welcome.

The performance of “Mad, Bad, Invisible” is one of a series of events being organised nationwide as part of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science. Places are limited and can be booked here

Dr Catherine Mahoney, Lecturer in Nursing in the School of Health & Social Care, who is organising the event, said: “Health and Social Care integration has potential to make sure that the cracks in care that we sadly know exist can be closed. But, integration is still in its infancy and is sometimes a difficult concept to grasp.

“Mad, Bad, Invisible makes the case for health and social care integration strongly and clearly. No-one should have to go to the lengths or reach the depths that Anne did to get the help they need as they struggle with addiction and mental illness.

“Although I shouldn’t be surprised, I have been struck by our students’ professionalism and passion in bringing to life such a sensitive and deeply emotional story. Their hard-hitting performance shows how we can - and must - shape the integration agenda so it works for everyone, especially those like Anne who stand to gain most from truly integrated services.

“We are delighted to be working with Comas on this exciting venture and I would like to personally thank them, as well as our students, staff and the ESRC, for making the play possible.”

Jennifer Dawson, a first-year mental health nursing student, who plays Anne in the play, said: “As a student nurse I’ve learned that being able to step into someone else’s shoes is such an important part of the nursing role. It helps us to understand what people are going through so we can care for them better. 

“Playing Anne has been hard, but it’s not nearly as tough as the experience she went through just to get some help. That’s why it’s so important her story is told.”

Jasmine Lauchlan, a first-year mental health nursing student who plays Comas Support worker Bella in the play, said: “Bella tries everything to get help for Anne - and it wasn’t hard to feel her frustration with a system that just didn’t seem to care. Anne’s story shows what a difference integrated services could make to people’s lives, particularly those who are the most marginalised in our society. 

“I’m sure I speak for all the cast when I say that I wish it was a story we didn’t need to tell, but I’m so glad we have as it’s one that desperately needs to be told.”

Nursing at Edinburgh Napier