Posted By MatthewWoodford
Posted on: June 8, 2016

#TimetoAct #MentalHealth

CALL TO ACTION: Theatre people, it’s #TimetoAct on #Mentalhealth

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What is the state of young people’s mental health within the theatre industry? Anecdotally, we all know the stressed producer who is unable to secure funding for a project, the actor who is struggling to find a sustainable income or the director who is struggling to balance working in full time hospitality whilst trying to maintain a career.

Research has demonstrated that the combination of an unstable and competitive working environment, coupled with a lack of support, can be a significant strain on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. Because of this, theatre professionals may be vulnerable to run into difficulties.

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Time to Act is a yearlong initiative to build a clearer picture of the state of young people’s mental health within the theatre industry – and develop timely and effective strategies to support those professionals. Its purpose is to improve the wellbeing of young people who choose a career in theatre – and in the process, make the industry a generally more healthy and positive working environment for everybody.

What can I do?

If you are aged 18 – 30 and work in theatre, take the 5 minute Time to Act Survey. It asks young theatre professionals anonymously about the particular pressures they experience. This data will build a greater understanding of how mental health impacts the professional work of young people, developing a far-reaching analysis.

What happens with all this data?

Intrepid Ensemble will then engage a range of stakeholders – including mental health charities, unions, funders, venues and young professionals– to reflect on the findings and develop a collaborative approach to support. In conjunction with all these stakeholders, a Time to Act Action Plan will be put in place – alongside pop-up events, workshops, virtual reality experiences and seminars running throughout 2017.

Matthew Woodford is Artistic Director of Intrepid Ensemble, and started the initiative. He said, “We began 2016 making a show about mental health and the burnout some can experience in the creative industries.

More of my friends and colleagues are openly discussing mental health, which is fantastic step forward. But there still huge gaps in understanding how best to support young people to balance their mental health and their work.

Time to Act will provide a clearer picture on our collective experience of mental health – and bring people together to discuss what can be done.”

Run by Intrepid Ensemble. Supported by O2 Think Big and Fringe Society. 
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 Under 30 and working in the performing arts industry? Take the 5 minute survey.
Raise awareness by tweeting about the campaign #TimetoAct #Mentalhealth