From time to time, everyone finds life hard. When working in the creative industries this can be exacerbated by the challenges of the sector - irregular and anti-social working hours, portfolio careers, financial instability, stress of managing multiple projects, job roles and demands.
For freelancers and creative professionals, the work life balance is a constant battle, competing between approaching deadlines, late nights, applying for funding, running projects and searching for the next one. You may be supporting other people when leading your organisation or working with artists. You may be an artist managing the highs and lows of performing or touring.
Each year, 1 in 4 people will experiences mental health issues.
With the impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the loss of opportunities for work, cancellation of existing projects and financial impact across the sector has stretched further the resilience of those working in this sector. But resilience is a dangerous word, and sometimes you may find yourself pushing on when you could be causing greater risk to your mental health.
1 in 6 workers will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time
If you feel you are struggling, please ask for help. You may need to take a break from work, you may just want someone to talk to or you may need to get extra support to continue your work. I trained this year as a Mental Health First Aider, and embed support for health and wellbeing into many aspects of my work.
From my work in the sector over the years I have seen artists and colleagues experiencing symptoms of mental ill health, burnout or negative impact on general wellbeing. The list of resources below offers support for those who need it, and I will always be available to talk to those who need help.
Help Musicians UK run a dedicated service to support those working in the music industry, Music Minds Matter. This dedicated helpline is open 24/7 and offers guidance, advice and professional support.
Music Minds Matter - 0808 802 8008
Music Support offer services to those in the industry suffering from mental health or addiction. They run a support helpline, as well as online support groups for people on the 12 step programme.
They are a partner on the Thrive app, a free clinically effective app offering 24/7 support and strategies for managing your mental health and wellbeing.
Music Support Helpline - 0800 030 6789
ArtsMinds is a collective of organisations supporting those in the creative industries with resources to support their mental health and wellbeing.
Samaritans run a national service supporting people struggling with their mental health and risk of suicide. They offer a judgement free service for people who need to talk, regardless of your circumstances. You can contact them via phone, email and they offer a ‘self help’ app.
24/7 freephone hotline - 116 123
Email - email@example.com
Shout run a national text service for people who can’t or prefer not to talk on the phone. The service is available 24/7, is confidential and free from all major UK networks.
Text SHOUT to 85258.
Mind Apples have resources to support individuals and business to better manage their mental health or that of their teams. Including training, apps, books and much more.
Stats courtesy of Mental Health First Aid, England - www.mhfaengland.org