Mental Health in creative industries is and has been a critical issue, even before COVID-19. With pressures in balancing certainty in a gig economy, uncertainty of work security, and a lack of broader valuing of the arts sector, people working in this industry experience higher rates of mental health issues, and in the context of 2020 this issue is at critical levels.
We have been working with the Australian Association of Artist Managers (AAM) as part of the Gimme Shelter initiative, with funding by Support Act to deliver Mental Health First Aid training to 190 Artist Managers across Australia.
And now, in direct partnership with Support Act, we are delivering Mental Health First Aid training for hundreds of people working in the music industry
The training provides vital skills for Artist Managers to understand the intricacies of a range of mental illness experiences and challenges, and with tools to notice, support and respond to people they work with, manage and support with regards to their mental health.
"The Mental Health First Aid training I received from Caitlin has been invaluable in clearly teaching me a structure for approaching and assisting people experiencing mental health problems. I've utilised this training on multiple occasions through this difficult time."
Cath Haridy, Executive Director, Australian Association of Artist Managers
We are working in collaboration with AAM to design bespoke case scenarios and practice conversations relevant to this industry and common experiences faced by Artist Managers through their day to day work.
In Term 1, which saw 48 Artist Manager become Accredited Mental Health First Aiders:
Mental Health First Aid training online involves self paced e-learning of around 6 hours, with a home delivered hard copy manual. We then meet in groups of 12 on Zoom, for 2 x 2.5hr sessions held one week apart.
"The opportunity to share experiences and knowledge with my colleagues and peers was so valuable. This rarely happens given how busy we always are, and this course helped me realise just how important these connections are for my own sustainability and mental health in this industry too"
"For anyone working in the Creative Industries, whether working with visual, recording or touring artists and professionals, Mental Health First Aid should be required training. The course addresses deeply ingrained stigmas that are associated with the arts. The course helps remove fears around the unknown and provides much-needed community understanding for all. We have a duty of care to support our artists and each other; I have no doubt this course will save and improve people's lives. In addition to contributing to a more culturally and economically sustainable environment for all” - Larissa Ryan, Artist Manager, Hutch Collective
“The mental health first aid course was such important learning. It really made me re-think how I can best support my artists to build their resilience and overall wellbeing. Not only that, it’s given me some great insight into how I can manage my own mental health, especially at a time with so much uncertainty. It was particularly great doing the course alongside other managers, and you walk away with a practical framework on how to approach mental health challenges. Incredibly informative and empowering.” Amy Laidlaw, i hear django