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Giving a platform to addiction and ‘GGZ’: from stigma to role model
15 December 2021

Giving a platform to addiction and ‘GGZ’: from stigma to role model

The Will Hawkins Collective works on achieving a culture change in healthcare and society. Stigma surrounding addiction and GGZ (Mental Healthcare) need to vanish. The Will Hawkins Collective does so by adding arts and theatre to healthcare. Young adults with personal experience regarding addiction and or GGZ get a platform. Through dance, stories, music and performance, these young adults share their stories. This leads to awareness in society and destigmatization.

The Will Hawkins Collective facilitates this artistic process, and theatre maker Esther de Bruin guides the developments professionally. This project helps participants with their own rehabilitation trajectory as well as the discovery of their artistic talents. Additionally, they become positive role models who can inspire others.

Thanks to the support of Zorg van de Zaak Foundation, the Will Hawkins Collective has made a new start consisting of activities focused on presentations and collaborations in the social domain. For instance, singing and bass guitar lessons have been made possible, and rehearsals of the Will Hawkins Collective could take place on a weekly basis. Furthermore, through recruitment, organisation and execution the following performances have taken place:

Nadia & Wim – in collaboration with The Living Museum
A live concert by Nadia & Wim at the digital festival ‘caring community’ in Tilburg. At this online congress for public and operatives in the social domain, knowledge and experiences about rehabilitation were shared. The performance can be seen via this link:

Erik & Anouk – in collaboration with ZonMw & Association of Dutch Municipalities
A musical performance at talkshow ‘movement in vulnerability’ by Erik & Anouk in Utrecht. The performance was an intermezzo during the episode ‘outlook on the future’. The performance can be seen via this link:

Theatre show ‘Nadia’ – in collaboration with Theatre Training Koning Willem 1 College
‘Nadia’ is a theatre show of training company Sterk of the Koning Willem I College in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The students of the theatre school worked together with Nadia, who tells the story of her struggles with addiction a few years ago. The performance can be seen via this link:

With these performances, various cities including Tilburg, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, The Hague and Utrecht have been reached. Additionally, collaborations took place with various organisations: Living Museum, ZonMw, VNG, Koning Willem I College, Coup Cure and Novadic-Kentron. In total, 750 people, of which a large part are in the social sector, were reached through the performances.

Meanwhile, the Will Hawkins Collective is writing a multi-year plan to develop, through professionalization and collaboration with music and theatre schools, a ‘rehabilitation route in music & theatre talent’ for vulnerable and talented people who have a difficult time getting access to the cultural sector.