This year’s cohort of theatre graduates will be able to access tailored mental health and industry support as they launch their careers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to a new initiative.
The 2020 Graduate Support Programme has been set up by mental health organisation Industry Minds, which began as a podcast before expanding into a wider well-being service providing low-cost counselling to people in the arts.
Graduates signing up for the scheme are asked to specify areas they would like support in, which could include creating showreels, getting an agent, networking or vocal health care.
Industry Minds will then put together a personalised support package for each person, which could include sessions with the organisation’s counsellor Mary Burch, access to seminars and well-being workshops from mental health support organisation Applause for Thought or vocal health education from the Voice Care Centre.
Industry figures who will be offering support as part of the scheme include casting director Faye Timby, artistic director of Leicester’s Curve Theatre Nikolai Foster and Daniel Johnson from Daniel Johnson films, who will be offering help with showreels.
Actors Scarlett Maltman and Cathy Read, who founded Industry Minds, said: "The 2020 Graduate Support Programme was set up by the team at Industry Minds in order to support those graduating this year.
"Using our own experiences as actors who have graduated, we know how daunting it can be so we couldn’t even begin to imagine what graduates may be feeling during the current pandemic.
"The programme will offer tailored mental health and well-being and industry support tailored to each individual who has applied and we aim to have the programme up and running in the next week. It will last around three months, or longer if more support is needed."
About 70 graduates have already signed up to the programme. Anyone else wishing to apply should contact Industry Minds on email@example.com.