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Actors Centre boosts mental health offering with Talk partnership

The Actors Centre in London

The Actors Centre in London has partnered with mental health group Talk to hold weekly support sessions for people in the industry.

Talk was set up by actors Christian Edwards and Harry Long in March [1] to create a community for people who may be experiencing mental health issues.

Now the organisation, which previously held sessions around London, will be based at the Actors Centre.

Meetings are open to anyone in the industry and are free to attend. Participants will be able to share experiences with each other and discuss mental health.

The sessions will be held every Tuesday from 5.30pm to 6.30pm, with the first to take place on October 9.

They will complement free monthly drop-in sessions provided in partnership with Equity [2], during which performers can discuss bullying, harassment and mental health concerns one-on-one with a trained professional.

Actors Centre chief executive Joel Fisher said: “I am so glad that we are expanding our mental health provision in this next phase and are able to bring more awareness and offer more mental health support within the industry.

“Christian and Harry have done a fantastic job in setting up and running Talk with very minimal support and we are excited to work with them to hone and grow this offering. Together, we have an ambitious growth plan for Talk and hope that, with further involvement from the wider industry, we can continue to normalise these discussions.”

Long and Edwards, co-founders of Talk, added: “At a time when mental health awareness is on the increase in our industry, it is vital that we use joined up thinking to offer effective support.

“We feel that working in partnership with this exciting organisation will allow us to be greater than the sum of our parts.”

The Actors Centre and Talk plan to run additional sessions elsewhere in London and regionally in the future, and are seeking support for this from producers, venues and organisations.