Designer Fly Davis has argued there is a lack of support for creatives struggling with their mental health, claiming more people have been suffering in 2019 than ever before.
She said poor mental health among creatives was due to increasing work pressures, which she described as a “massive problem” that the industry needs to address.
Davis was speaking at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2019, where she was nominated in the best design category for Appropriate at the Donmar Warehouse.
She told The Stage: “Mental health is a massive problem, and I’ve never witnessed it so badly in designers; this year has been the worst.
“So many, including myself and directors, have said: ‘I don’t know what’s happening in this industry, but we’re all disintegrating, and there has to be something that’s done properly, because we’re not being supported.'”
Davis added: “I think think buildings are trying their best, but it’s not enough yet, and when you’re getting higher up in your game, I think people think you’re fine.”
The set and costume designer called on the industry to introduce buddy systems to support younger designers through a “hard journey”.
She added: “I think we need to support younger artists, otherwise we end up leaving them a bit broken.
“Just connecting with people and talking with them is crucial, because even when you’re where I am now, after grafting through every single pub theatre you can imagine, it means a great deal that buildings keep talking to you and checking in, because designers end up taking on so much work and you end up putting yourself under so much pressure.”