A podcast set up to discuss mental health for people working in the creative industries is now offering free one-to-one counselling sessions over Skype.
The Industry Minds podcast was set up by actors Scarlett Maltman and Cathy Read in September last year with the aim of opening up the conversation around mental health in the arts.
Maltman and Read wanted to organise the counselling sessions after “reading about multiple suicides in the arts and surrounding industries” and realising that there is not much affordable help available to people who are struggling.
The free Skype or telephone sessions are available to all creatives studying or working in the arts, including actors, musicians, designers and choreographers.
Currently, people are able to book one hour-long session per week but they can also contact the counsellor in an emergency. There are 28 slots available per week.
The appointments are with counsellor Mary Burch, who is volunteering her spare time outside of other work commitments. Burch also works as a private counsellor and with a few agencies specialising in trauma, abuse and addiction, and in 2016 received a British Empire Medal for her voluntary services to the community and helping others.
Maltman said: “In an industry where one in three people struggle with mental health issues, there really isn’t a lot of help out there.
“It can be financially difficult the majority of the time for creatives, and there has to be a service where you can seek timely, professional help free of charge and continue to develop a relationship with a counsellor who will care for you over a long period of time.
“If one person can hear your voice and offer empathy and support in a confidential, non-judgemental way, then that could be the difference between a life lived and a life lost.”
Industry Minds has also set up private counselling sessions with Burch at a reduced cost of £25, that are currently available fortnightly in London on Wednesday afternoons and evenings and Thursday day times, with the hope of running these weekly in the future.