There is a looming mental health crisis in our creative disciplines. For too long the image of a suffering artist whose pain acts as a catalyst for their creativity has overlooked the real need for support and community building. As anxiety, depression, and addiction rise so does a need and responsibility to act.
A FEW FACTS:
Whilst one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health issue each year, for those working in a creative role the likelihood of developing such issue is three times greater.
For an industry which is fundamentally built around communication and the free flow of ideas without judgement, mental health still seems to be something of a taboo subject. The most commonly diagnosed mental health issues for creatives are anxiety (36%) and depression (32%).
The levels of suicide are very high across all sectors, around 60% have thought about killing themselves, with 30% thinking about it in the past year. The numbers are alarming and we need to lift this taboo!
It all started a year ago for me, I never thought it would happen to me, but my world changed in May 2019. I experienced a full mental burnout, which put my life to a halt. I had to reconsider my work, lifestyle, diet and priorities. I took it as a ‘breakthrough’ rather than a ‘breakdown’, but realised how fragile the mind was and how vulnerable and exposed we all were. I was lucky enough to have my incredible partner, wonderful professionals and a few friends to help me get out of the deep end. It is definitely a long process to 'get out of it' and takes more than speaking to one person.
THE CURRENT SITUATION:
Unfortunately the current situation with COVID-19 has brought back some deep fear and anxiety to the surface, plus obviously most of the jobs being cancelled or re-scheduled do not help to keep our moral high.
This is a precarious moment with a lot of uncertainty for the future, but on a positive note, the creative community has the ability to create outlets, share strategies, and join together to strengthen and thrive.
We hope to start a unique and dynamic initiative where the creative industry comes together to talk about this subject. Through bringing together creative minds, from Design to Fashion, from Art to Theater, from Performance to poetry, there will certainly be opportunities to exchange, collaborate and create some unprecedented outcomes.
This could start small but become a larger celebration / festival further down the line!
I would love to start this initiative with three simple stages:
- STEP 1: FINDING HELP / ANSWERS
- STEP 2: GETTING CREATIVE!
- STEP 3: GETTING THE INDUSTRY TOGETHER
STEP 1: FINDING HELP / ANSWERS
I wanted to share some Alternative Solutions and a list of amazing people who have helped me through the years and do the same for you:
EMMA LUCY KNOWLES - CRYSTAL HEALER (UK)
Emma Lucy Knowles is a hands-on crystal healer who has worked with crystals for well over 15 years and has a worldwide base of followers. She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Grazia, Harper's Bazaar, Women's Health, and Elle.
PATTERNITY - DESIGNERS / HEALERS (UK)
PATTERNITY was founded by Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham in London in 2009. United by their deep love of pattern and its ability to bring ideas, people and perspectives together, they wanted to share the positive power of pattern with the world.
Today we are a ‘conscious creative organisation’ underpinned by our core philosophy and multidisciplinary research. All our projects, products and educational events work with pattern to inspire more curious, collaborative and connected ways of living.
*To us, positive living means being more open and alive to the wonder and beauty of life. It means feeling more connected to your inner creativity, everyday surroundings and your wider environment. It is a way of both seeing and being.
LOUISA LOVE - KINESIOLOGIST (UK)
Louisa uses her intuition coupled with many years of experience and training to assist her clients to empower and free themselves emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. She uses kinesiology, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique also known as tapping), certain aspects of DNA theta healing for changing beliefs, meditation, bush flower remedies, eye rotation therapy, breathing techniques similar to rebirthing for emotional body clearing, chakra balancing, and works with various herbs and nutrition to support the physical body to detox from candida, parasite and heavy metal toxicity. She is passionate about soul evolution, self-realisation, and living our lives as sovereign human beings.
CARLA VILCHES - KINESIOLOGIST (NYC)
Dr. Carla Vilches is a Chiropractor and Occupational Therapist licensed in the State of New York and Puerto Rico. She has worked as a healthcare practitioner for over 16 years treating patients of all ages, including newborns. She has experience with pre and postnatal care, lactation, pediatrics, special needs children and adults, patients with mental health issues, sports injuries, and those in need of orthopedic rehabilitation.
Dr. Vilches is an attentive and caring clinician who has integrated all of her underlying training and experience into a system that allows her to holistically treat patients of all ages, empowering them to take control of their health, by addressing mind, body and spirit.
She uses a whole person approach that focuses on each patient achieving optimal health through an individualized blend of chiropractic adjustment, nutritional counseling, homeopathy and emotional wellness and lifestyle adjustments. She concentrates on identifying the underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption which may or may not be causing symptoms at the time. Together with her patient, Dr. Vilches explores the possible root cause of any ailment, whether structural, nutritional or emotional, and works with the patient to bring the body back to optimal health.
BEATA FLOROVA - ACUPUNCTURE (UK)
Beata Florova has over 13 years experience in body work , holds a BS Degree in Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and Level 5 Mastership in Clinical Reflexology. She uses acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, reflexology and various combinations of them to create a tailor-made treatments for muscle -skeleton pain, digestive disorders, fertility issues, detoxing and stress related conditions.
Beata is a member of British Acupuncture Council and The Association of Reflexologists , and is fully insured for all the provided treatments.
PAMELA YAP - ACUPUNCTURE (NYC)
As a Licensed Acupuncturist and Certified Herbalist, Pamela received her Master of Science degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, New York in 2009. She is certified by the National Board (NCCAOM) in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology.
She has been studying Daoist philosophy since 1994, and started her Qigong cultivation under Micheal Tse's student Adam Wallace in 2005. In 2009, she came to a major watershed moment in her practice when she discovered Chi Nei Tsang (氣內腸), a Daoist system of internal organ healing, under Mantak Chia’s students Karin Sorvik and Rob Renahan.
The Five-Phase Cycle (Water, Wood, and Fire, Earth and Metal) as an interdependent web of alchemical processes that make up the ecosystem of the person, runs deep in her approach to healing and to all of life.
The body is of nature, and serves as a microcosm for the elegant intelligence present in all of life. She founded Acupuncture for All Seasons in 2010 based on this very principle: the incorruptible whole beyond the sum of its constantly changing parts. She is fully convinced that we are here to discover the abundance and generosity of the universe as it is contained in our own bodies.
STEP 2: GETTING CREATIVE!
We wish to raise awareness around mental health by curating an exhibition which will showcase work from talents: Artists, Designers, Writers, Architects from all over the world who have or are experiencing depression, anxiety, or addiction. They will either be creating a specific artwork for the installation or give one of theirs.
The thematic will be 'Embrace'.
STEP 3: GETTING THE INDUSTRY TOGETHER:
With the support of key partners and sponsors, on October 10th 2020 we will be launching an exhibition in London. It will be oriented around work that explores personal experiences, and projects that provide solutions to how to express thoughts / feelings and find comfort.
Most of the installations will be immersive and shine a light on this grave subject through hopeful and bright messaging. It will act as a platform for conversation as well as become a resource for those needing a new type of outlet.
CALL TO ACTION!
Being a female entrepreneur in the creative industry it is my duty and now mission to raise awareness and become an advocate. I would love for us to put our heads together and make a change!
Please reach out if you are a creative and would like to participate in the exhibition in October / or if you are a sponsor and would like to help make this happen!