It really seems like the creative industry is waking up to the profound need for better mental health support and provisions. The Actors Centre in London have partnered up with mental health group Talk to hold weekly support sessions. It's great to see real and proactive change happening.
In an interview with The Stage the following details are given:
"Meetings are open to anyone in the industry and are free to attend. Participants will be able to share experiences with each other and discuss mental health. The sessions will be held every Tuesday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, with the first to take place on October 9. They will complement free monthly drop-in sessions provided in partnership with Equity, during which performers can discuss bullying, harassment and mental health concerns one-on-one with a trained professional."
I'll be curious as to how these sessions are held and how and who uses them. On paper it has the potential to be a great resource for: dissolving the negative stigma around mental health in the arts; to create a sense of belonging by promoting and safely holding more transparency with each other about how we feel and how our mental health can be negatively affected in this industry; providing support for those in need.
I suspect demand will be higher than the resources at the Centre's weekly drop in centre, so it is encouraging to hear that there is also a plan to run sessions elsewhere is London and regionally in the future.
They are seeking support from venues, producers and organizations - so if you're connected to one of these, get in touch so we can be "greater than the sum of our parts" (Christian Edwards, founder of Talk).
"We strive for you to feel happy and safe so you can continue daring to create. So we've partnered with mental health group Talk to hold weekly support sessions. We at the Actors Centre, are here to help you not only survive, but thrive! #WorldMentalHealthDay #WMHD2018" @theActorsCentre