Circus for mental health
Mental illness has risen alarmingly in Australia with one in five adults and one in seven children experiencing a mental illness in a year. The early and middle years of childhood are pivotal for positive cognitive development throughout life, resulting in healthier societies, and all serious mental health issues in adulthood begin before the age of 14. In this context, research from the University of South Australia has revealed the true value of circus skills and their unique ability to deliver significant mental health benefits for children.
The study used an internationally recognised methodology, and qualitative and quantitative research tools to track the experiences of 55 children (aged 8-14 years) where children had the opportunity to learn, improve and extend new skills in acrobatics, balance, juggling and aerial activities. The circus training helped them feel much better about themselves, both physically and mentally,with a greater sense of freedom, confidence and happiness.