Group formed to support theatre professionals facing mental health issues
A group aimed at tackling mental health issues and isolation within the industry has been launched.
Actors Christian Edwards and Harry Long started the London-based group to create a community for people who may be experiencing similar struggles or frustrations, and to provide a space for them to speak to each other.
The group, which has been called Talk, will meet weekly at the Ministry of Fun studios in London, on different times and days each week to allow people with varying availabilities to attend.
Talk is open to anyone working in theatre and the wider entertainment industry in any role, including actors, creatives and backstage workers.
Edwards said: “My friend Harry and I have gone through difficulties in the business ourselves. It is a hard life [for actors], sometimes being in work and sometimes being out of work.
“Mental health issues are very prevalent in the industry, and we were both thinking there isn’t really a network or community that people can get in touch with if they feel a bit isolated or want to talk to people who are also going through these struggles.”
Edwards stressed that Talk is not a counselling service, and that neither he nor Long were trained counsellors. But he added that “through the simple act of meeting new people and discussing things you can feel supported”.
Initially, the meet-ups will be informal gatherings where participants can have a hot drink and talk to each other.
Edwards hopes that in the future Talk will also run workshops or host discussions on specific issues, such as stress management techniques.
The first meet-up will take place on March 13, with future gatherings to be announced on Talk’s social media.
In 2016, website ArtsMinds was launched to support people working in the entertainment sector.