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Paul Bhattacharjee image

Mental health website launched for actors in wake of suicides

ArtsMinds, a joint initiative between the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, Spotlight, The Stage and Equity, is to provide creatives with advice on relationships, health, careers and finances.

A series of high-profile suicides among actors has prompted the launch of a new initiative aimed at raising the awareness of stress and mental wellbeing in the entertainment sector.


Arts and Minds is a joint initiative between Spotlight, Equity and The Stage which has been set up following the deaths of actors Richard Gent, Briony McRoberts and Paul Bhattacharjee.


It aims to raise awareness about the stress that can be experienced by people working in the industry and to highlight where people can seek support. Posters will be put up in theatres showing people where they can seek help, including from bodies such as The Samaritans and charity Mind.


As part of Arts and Minds, this year’s Edinburgh Fringe features a space called the Sanctuary, which offers performers taking part in the festival “a calm, quiet place within Fringe Central, where participants can get away from things”.


Louise Grainger, from Equity, explained that the space had been created following meetings held at the fringe last year by the union’s east of Scotland branch, which explored issues
relating to stress in the sector.


In addition, she said two motions at Equity’s annual conference this year had raised the matter of mental health in the industry, which she said showed “fellow artists’ concern about the vulnerability of performers and the need for increased awareness”.


At the Sanctuary, performers will be able to access specialist support from one to one conversations.


The Sanctuary will run on August 10, 13 and 21 from 10.30 to 5pm at Fringe Central




Image: Paul Bhattacharjee (right), whose suicide has prompted a new initiative to raise awareness of mental health problems in the industry. Photo: Tristram Kenton


This article was originally published on The Stage Website on 7th August 2016 (Author: Matthew Hemley)




Posted on 17 August 2016

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