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Title: Promoting Healing and Stigma Reduction Through the Arts

Joseph Mango, MFA and Bonnie Zima, MD, MPH, from the Semel Institute Center for Health Services and Society  at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) are conducting a research study.

You were selected as a possible participant in this study because you have elected to attend a play about depression called The One With Friends. You are eligible to participate if you are over the age of 18Your participation in this research study is voluntary.

Why is this study being done?

For the last century, many people turn to the arts for escapism, whether it be motion pictures, television, or the performing arts. Today, Americans have the option to binge watch their favorite shows through various platforms (Netflix, On Demand, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime). The popular and award-winning sitcom, “Friends,” had a huge fan following during the course of its run from 1994 – 2004 and has reached a new generation of viewership as well as re-engaged former viewers with its debut on Netflix in 2015. This study will measure the stigma of depression. There is very little research that shows the correlation between the arts and mental health.  This study will address this knowledge gap–to assess change in perceived stigma around depression using a play about depression.

What will happen if I take part in this research study?

If you volunteer to participate in this study, the researcher will ask you to do the following:

  • Take a short anonymous survey about depression and stigma before and after the play. The survey will ask basic demographics questions with no questions that will identify you. We will ask about your thoughts on depression and the stigma surrounding it as well about opinions related to watching TV shows as comfort during times of stress/depression.  The survey will be administered in the Tamkin Auditorium where the play will be performed.

How long will I be in the research study?

Participation will take a total of approximately 5 minutes.

Are there any potential risks or discomforts that I can expect from this study?

  • The play revolves around two characters who are struggling with depression and you may feel empathy and sadness towards the characters and this may cause you to reflect on family members/friends who have depression or you may reflect upon your depression if you have depression or have experienced depression. 

Are there any potential benefits if I participate?

You may benefit from the study as the play may offer an opportunity for audience members to gain greater empathy towards persons suffering from depression as well as promote self-reflection. It may also improve a person’s sense of comfort to talk more freely about depression and may promote a greater discussion about mental health problems and how to access treatment and a sense of hope for recovery.

The results of the research may benefit society in exploring that the arts can be part of the healing processes for depressed persons as well as help reduce the stigma of depression.

What other choices do I have if I choose not to participate?

Participation in the survey is optional and you do not have to participate and can simply watch the play.

Will information about me and my participation be kept confidential?

No identifiable data will be collected, however any information that is obtained in connection with this study will remain confidential.

What are my rights if I take part in this study?

  • You can choose whether or not you want to be in this study, and you may withdraw your consent and discontinue participation at any time.
  • Whatever decision you make, there will be no penalty to you, and no loss of benefits to which you were otherwise entitled.
  • You may refuse to answer any questions that you do not want to answer and still remain in the study.

Who can I contact if I have questions about this study?

  • The research team:

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the research, you can talk to the one of the researchers. Please contact:

Joseph Mango, MFA
10920 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300/
Los Angeles, CA 90024

  • UCLA Office of the Human Research Protection Program (OHRPP):

If you have questions about your rights while taking part in this study, or you have concerns or suggestions and you want to talk to someone other than the researchers about the study, please call the OHRPP at (310) 825-7122 or write to:

UCLA Office of the Human Research Protection Program 
11000 Kinross Avenue, Suite 211, Box 951694
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1694

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