These past weeks have been unprecedented for the performing arts industry.
The closures and cancellations as a result of COVID-19 have greatly impacted all of us. Our leaders and peak bodies are working tirelessly for the industry, and we want to extend our gratitude for their incredible work at this difficult time.
We are keenly aware of the challenges faced by everyone in the industry, and encourage you to take care of yourselves, and each other. Remember, it is free of charge to utilise the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline – a 24/7 phone counselling service available to anyone in the Australian performing arts industry. Simply phone 1800 959 500 to speak with an experienced, qualified clinician about any aspect of your mental health and wellbeing. You can make an appointment, or request to speak to someone immediately.
The Arts Wellbeing Collective team is currently working from home, as Arts Centre Melbourne made the very difficult but necessary decision to temporarily close. For now, we are pausing our face to face delivery of workshops, presentations and Mental Health First Aid. In the meantime, we’re exploring other modes of delivery, digitising content, continuing to build resources, and ensuring access to professional support is available for those who need it.
Now, more than ever, we must care for our physical and mental health. Be extra kind to yourself, and those around you. Our CEO, Claire Spencer, uses the variation, ‘physical distancing / physical isolation’, rather than ‘social distancing / social isolation’ to continually remind us that while we may not be physically gathering in our theatres and places of work, we are still a connected, committed, caring creative community.
We will get through this. Together.
Wishing you good health and creativity,
The team at Arts Centre Melbourne
During these uncertain times, we are going to need strength and connection to get through. It’s hard to know where to start – especially when everything is changing so quickly – so here are some simple tips from Dr Jane Miskovic-Wheatley for looking after your mental health during COVID-19.
You are not alone. Call Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636, or the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline 1800 959 500, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ask for help and accept it. If you or someone you know is at immediate risk, please contact the Emergency Services on 000.