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MONDAY MINDSET: Unions unite to address mental health in the performing arts

Publication date: July 16, 2018 Author: Jenna Rachid

Unions unite to address mental health in the performing arts

Unions join forces to address and improve the mental health of people working in the performing arts industry.

Equity, the writers Guild of Britain and the Musicians Union are working with the Performers Alliance All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to encourage employers in performing arts to bring mental health to the forefront.

According to The Stage, the groups are backed MP’s, including Luciana Berger, who chaired the Performers Alliance APPG. The meeting was attended by performers, entertainment unions and the Society of London Theatre and UK theatre.

Berger wrote blog a piece for Huffington post to coincide with the meeting, she writes: ‘We need new protections and new rights to be established. We value our arts and the contribution they make. We must value our artists too, and ensure no one’s mental health is affected by outdated and exploitative practices.’

The union has started to offer support to performers with mental well-being drop in sessions.

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 Dad sets up the Community Driving School to help people with mental health or money problems

A former stockbroker who quit work after struggling with depression has set up a driving school to help people with people with mental health or money difficulties.

Father of three John Nicholson, who had a 17-year career on the London Stock Exchange had tried to commit suicide, and while recovering, realised he could help.

In May he founded the Community Driving School after training as a driving instructor.

‘I met some wonderful people who were going through a hard time and didn’t have much money, so I started giving free lessons to some people who were really struggling,’ he said.

People don’t just get given lessons – they have to earn them. They must go out and volunteer and build up a balance of hours.’

According to the Kentonline.co.uk, Mother of two, Tyre was the first to take part in the scheme.  She has faced homelessness and depression. She said: ‘Driving has given me a purpose and the ability to focus on the future.’

John donates 5% of what earns to the project, he also had sponsorship from Mobile Tyre Maintenance and AT accounts and received £4,000 from Tesco Extra, Kentonline.co.uk reports.

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5asideChess project aims to bridge loneliness and prevent suicide

A life size chess set is on tour across the UK,  aiming to bring people together and raise awareness of suicide prevention.

According to Mental Health Today, the life size chess tour sets to come together and socialise by using the game as an ‘ice breaker’.

The Office of National Statistics reported that 5,965 individuals in the UK took their own life in 2016, the projects seeks to fight loneliness and decrease social isolation in UK to reduce suicide rates.

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In case you missed it…

Love Island’s Georgia ‘is an example of how we might live today’ – UKCP member Lucy Beresford wrote an opinion piece published in the Metro.co.uk exploring perceptions of one of the contestants in the ITV2 reality show Love Island. 

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness opened up about his depression – Jonathan Van Ness, who is a stylist for Netflix’s Queer Eye, opened up about his experience with depression.