A career in the performing arts brings a unique set of stresses, concerns and challenges. There's rarely job security, hours are often unsociable, and there are immense pressures on looks and body image, to name just a few.
Performers in Mind is a non-profit organisation working to campaign for mental health action in the arts. We are dedicated to working in the best interest of performers and their mental wellbeing.
We aim to:
- fund and provide specific and tailored wellbeing support and information to performing artists throughout training and employment
- campaign for a change in attitudes towards mental health issues in every corner of the arts industry
Our short term aims are to:
- fund workshops in performing arts training institutions to equip young performers with skills to combat the specific stresses of employment in the arts industry
- form relationships with dance colleges
- expand our Resources page to include information for performing arts students on how and where to access mental health support when needed
- grow and establish the organisation so that we can become a registered charity
We carried out a survey in summer 2018 to test the hypothesis we had from our own experiences - that action was needed to transform mental health support in the arts industry. The responses were overwhelming and told us that there was a desperate need for the organisation we had set out to create. We immediately began to discuss how we could make an impact quickly, as the industry really needs it, and hosted a launch fundraiser event on 21 October 2018.
The purpose of the launch fundraiser event was to bring together people who are involved in the arts industry and passionate about improving mental health support. All proceeds raised from ticket sales funded wellbeing workshops run by Sophie Linder-Lee, an industry professional who draws on her own experience of mental health issues throughout her career to deliver a skills-based workshop teaching CBT, stress management and mindfulness techniques. We asked people to vote online for which schools should be awarded these, and announced at the end of the event that we had funded an incredible four workshops.
The atmosphere at the event and the subsequent reaction and enthusiasm for our mission drove us to investigate our options for making Performers in Mind more than a platform, and we are now looking to grow into a registered charity. We are currently recruiting trustees to help us set up the charity and steer the development of the first registered charity working specifically for mental health action in the performing arts. We are ambitious about the potential for the organisation and recognise the urgency of the need for more accessible support and widespread education across the industry.
If you are interested in being involved in any way please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a bit about yourself - we would love to hear from you!