You are warmly invited to join us for the first season of Mental Health Matinées, a series of online presentations promoting positive mental health and wellbeing in the performing arts.

This is a tough time for so many people in our industry, and at times like these, we need more self-care not less. However, this is often easier said than done! These sessions give practical tools and techniques to help you navigate through COVID-19 and beyond.

Every session is free to attend. Simply register online to receive the Zoom link.

Please feel free to share this invitation with your networks.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Mental health fundamentals
Thursday, 17 September 2020

Mental health has understandably been in the spotlight throughout COVID-19. What is ‘mental health’, though, and what impacts it? This session will explore risk and protective factors, and support services, and how to access them. You will also learn some tips and techniques for asking someone else about their mental health, and helping them to get the support they might need.

Presented by Dr Jane Miskovic-Wheatley, Sage Psychology.

Dr Jane Miskovic Wheatley


Understanding self and identity
Monday, 21 September 2020
3pm to 4pm

In the arts, we’re united by our shared passion for storytelling, performance, and the power of theatre to change lives. Sometimes, though, we can confuse who we are with what we do, and our identity becomes wrapped up with our work, and this has been magnified through COVID-19. This session will provide strategies to help artist cope with this challenging COVID-19 period, and explore ways in which we can reflect on our self, and find meaning, values and identity beyond our role in the arts.

Presented by psychologist, facilitator and lecturer, Chris Cheers.

Chris Cheers


Resilience and mindfulness
Thursday, 1 October 2020
3pm to 4pm

There is extensive evidence supporting the health benefits of mindfulness practice, but – as with many things – mindfulness can often be easier said than done. This welcoming, relaxed session is designed to address some of the common challenges faced when practicing mindfulness, and ways in which you can simply incorporate mindfulness into your life to build your personal resilience.

Presented by Coco Nkrumah, Reality Based Mindfulness.

Coco Nkrumah


Pivots and pirouettes – careers and transitions
Monday, 5 October 2020
3pm to 4pm

COVID-19 has disrupted the industry, organisations and personal careers. You might be using this time to reflect on your career in the arts, and how you might want to reconfigure, diversify or transition into another role. This session is the perfect starting point for exploring new and creative approaches to career options in the arts industry at this unique time.

Presented by Susan Eldridge, Notable Values.

Susan Eldridge

Image by Ingrid Martin


Connect, rest and repair
Monday, 12 October 2020
3pm to 4pm

Connection is the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” – Brené Brown. This is an opportunity to practice being kind to yourself and connect with a community of wholehearted people like you! Come and explore a surprisingly simple and straightforward way of attending to and comforting yourself when you need it the most.

Facilitated by Jossy Jimenez.

Jossy Jimenez


Navigating through change and uncertainty
Thursday, 22 October 2020
3pm to 4pm

Drawing from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy frameworks, this session will help you identify elements that might be in your control in such a chaotic world, and what you have agency over changing. Importantly too, you will learn practical techniques to build motivation to change these things! This process is aimed at ‘topping up’ your resilience to help manage change and difficult situations.

Presented by Dr Anastasia Hronis, Australian Institute for Human Wellness.

Anastasia Hronis

Question we didn’t get too…

Q. Do you experience performance anxiety prior to and whilst on stage Anastasia? If so how best do you deal with it?

A. I definitely always get nervous before a performance! Nerves are not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we are able to challenge them to work in our favour. In fact, nerves can actually help us perform our best.

Here are just some of the many ways to manage pre-performance nerves:

– use mindfulness strategies:

Often we are thinking in a way that makes us nervous (e.g. what if I make a mistake? what if the audience doesn’t like it? what if I get bad reviews? etc). Mindfulness helps us disengage from these thoughts and come back to the present.

– challenge these unhelpful thoughts:

Come up with a list of all the positive feedback you’ve received, great performances you’ve given, auditions you’ve been successful with etc. Prepare this and use it as a reminder on the day.

– smile:

On a physiological level, smiling automatically sends signals to our brain to tell us we are happy/enjoying something rather than worried and anxious. Try it now, and see the effect it can have on your mood.