Artists’ Union England is concerned by the effects of precarious work on our members. The strain of freelancing, managing multiple professional and care commitments, an uncertain economic future in for the arts, the stresses of socially engaged work and the isolation of art practitioners at their places of work all add to the risks of artists developing mental health problems and low standards of wellbeing.
As a young union, AUE is not yet able to provide services in this area. However, we want to make it clear that issues around mental health and wellbeing is at the core of our activities representing members, and conversations about mental health are absolutely welcome within the union and events it takes part in.
As an initial statement, we provide this list of organisations and resources that members, their families and colleagues may find useful. National organisations are first, followed by the North East and South East regions.
Firstly, we strongly recommend members to make use of NHS mental health services and local council services such as counselling. Contact your GP as a first step. Be aware that mental health services vary region to region. An online guide to free services in England can be found here.
If you are aware of other resources you would like other members to know about, particularly in the regions of England not represented here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add a link to this page.
In case of emergency:
If at any time you feel as though you might be at risk of harming yourself, please do one or more of the following immediately:
* Call Samaritans on 116 123 (open 24 hours a day)
* Tell a friend, family member or someone you trust
* Go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department
* Call NHS 111 or make an urgent appointment to see your GP
National Organisations and Initiatives
Psychological Therapies services are part of the NHS and allow people to self-refer for support too (so a GP referral isn’t essential). Here is a useful link where you can find your local IAPT service: www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Psychological-therapies-(IAPT)/LocationSearch/10008
Mind is a charity providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem http://www.mind.org.uk/ – Mind is organised in regional branches, but their website is full of information and advice. For general advice you can call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 (open weekdays 9am-6pm).
Mental Health Foundation suggest a few ways to get help: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help
The Musicians Union have a page with examples of symptoms people might show regarding stress, and help regarding Well Being with links: http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/Home/Advice/Your-Career/Health-and-Safety/Wellbeing
The British Association of Performing Arts Medicine: http://www.bapam.org.uk/
The performing arts union Equity have a mental health initiative: https://www.equity.org.uk/news-and-events/equity-news/new-resource-on-mental-health/
SANE is a leading UK mental health charity. They work to improve quality of life for anyone affected by mental illness. http://www.sane.org.uk/
Samaritans: http://www.samaritans.org – “Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal.”
Carers: http://www.carersuk.org – “As the UK’s only national membership charity for carers, Carers UK is both a supportive community and a movement for change.”
Surviving Work http://survivingwork.org is a space for talking/ learning about workplace resilience, aimed at health and social care workers.
Counselling Direct http://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/ is a company that helps people find counsellors or therapists – this site includes a free search service.
NHS – www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic (Mental health information)
Pride in Mind – a group for people from LGBTQI communities who experience mental distress. Pride in Mind is a Tyneside based support and social group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex individuals who also have mental health problems. Contact Mish Loraine: email@example.com 07902403630
North East together (NEt) is the network for people with lived experience of mental health conditions in the North East of England. contact Mish Lorainemish.firstname.lastname@example.org
Launchpad – by and for mental health service users. 0191 2330382 email@example.com www.launchpadncl.org.uk
Recovery College Collective run a wide range of course and workshops in the North East: www.recoverycoco.com
Psychologists Against Austerity – PAANorthEast@gmail.com psychagainstausterity.wordpress.com
The Mental Health Resistance Network: http://mentalhealthresistance.org/ – ‘The Mental Health Resistance Network was set up by people who live with mental distress in order to defend ourselves from the assault on us by a cruel government whose only constituents are the super rich and who value everyone else according to how much they serve the interests of this selfish minority.’
London and the South East
Mental Health Under Capitalism: https://www.facebook.com/MentalHealthUnderCapitalism/ ‘Mental Health Under Capitalism (MHUC) is a solidarity and support group with a focus on capitalism, oppression and its affect on mental health.’
Papyrus https://www.papyrus-uk.org/# – young at risk of suicide
Bipolar UK https://www.bipolaruk.org Information and Support for those with Bipolar Disorder
Rethink https://www.rethink.org Advice, information around mental health
Anxiety https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk Help and support for those with anxiety
Westminster Talking Therapies
Newham Talking Therapies
Medium.com also covers many articles on a range of mental health issues, from PTSD to depression. See:
Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and more caring world. Visit Action For Happiness, and read their advice, below: