Theatre organisations are offering mental health support sessions for black artists who are struggling in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in the USA.
Organisations offering services include the Diversity School Initiative, Eclipse Theatre Company and Applause for Thought.
The Diversity School Initiative, which was set up to improve representation in UK drama schools, is offering a “safe space” for black drama school students to support each other via sessions on Zoom.
A statement posted by the organisation on Twitter said: "We have been shaken by the events of the last few days and we are devastated by the continual mistreatment and murdering of black people all over the globe.
“We understand that this is a distressing time and have been thinking of ways in which we can support our community.
“We have decided to offer a space via Zoom, over the next few days where black students can come together in solidarity and support each other.”
The Black Lives Matter Zoom discussions will take place from 1pm to 3pm on June 3 and 5.
The Diversity School Initiative is also hosting a Zoom session on June 6, where the organisation will be playing music and inviting black students to “join, listen and dance”.
Eclipse Theatre Company, which creates work about the experiences of black British people, is inviting artists who are struggling to join its weekly online social gathering events.
Called Eclipse Online and taking place over Zoom, the sessions are billed as a “friendly conversation and check in for black artists, and fellow artists who are also marginalised for their race”.
A statement from Eclipse said: “Eclipse exists to support and champion black Artists and fellow artists who are also marginalised for their race. The words that we have been using during these times are: protection, insight, care and courage. We are using them to forge forward together with all the communities we work with in hope.”
Mental health support charity Applause for Thought is holding a special Black Lives Matter mental health support session on Zoom on June 13, from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
Led by actor and life coach Laura White, the session is described as “a safe space where the black theatre community can come together to breathe, offload, share, connect and partake in some exercises to nurture and protect their mental health during this time”.
The session is free, and people wishing should join should contact Applause for Thought.
Participants will also be provided with a list of resources they can access to continue supporting their mental health long-term beyond the session.
The charity said: “Applause for Thought stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and has been an active part of the conversation surrounding mental health and race since its launch in February 2019.
“It is vital to us that the mental health of the black community is supported and looked after and we cannot underestimate the immediate but also potential long-term affects of this continued trauma.
“It is also important for us to amplify and give space for black voices, so we are grateful to be working with Laura on this initiative and hopefully working towards creating that space.”
Mental health organisation Industry Minds has announced that all of its future mental health seminars, which take place monthly with counsellor Mary Burch, will run on a donation basis to raise funds for two charities; Black Lives Matter and the Black Ticket Project. The seminars will remain free for anyone experiencing financial hardship.
Industry Minds told The Stage: “We have ran our mental health seminars online since lockdown began and as we can’t go out and fundraise we thought this would be a good idea to raise funds to further support our black community.”