Monday, 13 May 2019

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WEEK: Industry Minds 6 steps to Boosting & Helping Mental Health

Mental Heath Awareness week was started by the Mental Heath Foundation, who are in their 70th year, in 2001. Combating issues such as stress, relationships, loneliness, altruism, sleep, alcohol and friendship with this years theme being body image. 

Here at Pocket we put some feelers out to some of our friends who responded with such bravery and pride. Working in this industry we call 'show business' is tough at the best of times, Mental Health Awareness week is our chance to educate people and help us understand one another. 

Our mission as people who are in and adore this industry is to support and help everyone in it. To promote Mental Health Awareness week we have been joined by a few of our friends who have written some wonderful guest posts for us. The more we speak about this, the better. 

Upon recommendation, we got in touch with the wonderful Cathy and Scarett at Industry Minds to ask them to share their wisdom. Since launching in 2018 they have already provided so much help to those in the performing arts industry. Check them out on twitter and visit their official website

Over the last few months since we began Industry Minds, we have discovered many avenues that can help boost and support mental health. 

As we are all different, below we have listed a range of these avenues as we possibly can that we think could help. Some come with a cost and some with no price tag at all but all offer the same outcome: boosting and helping mental health.

1. Therapy.

Therapy can be incredibly beneficial to anyone who may be struggling or in need of a chat and gaining some advice. 

There are many services out there but our top picks has to be Trevor Gray Therapy and our Industry Minds Counsellor Mary Burch.

Having a therapist/counsellor who understands the arts can be very beneficial and both of these people specialise in the arts and both offer discounted prices to those in the arts. Trevor is a physiotherapist and Mary is a counsellor.

Many people avoid therapy for various reasons so we have asked our Industry Minds Counsellor to write up some advice below for those who may have some questions around what counselling is.

“The first question most clients ask is, “what is Person Centred Counselling?” (PCT). 

It is often referred to as “talking therapy”, which can lead to a comment around - “well, I can surely get the same result by talking to my flat mate , best friend etc”. 

Of course counselling has its limits and is not a panacea for everything that is wrong in a person’s life, so what difference can a counsellor make, that your best friend can’t? 

In true PCT style, let me help you decide for yourself. A counsellor will help the client make the CHANGE they want to make: that may be a change in how they see, think, feel about things or themselves or a change in behaviour. 

While a friend might offer advice on a problem (be that good or bad advice), a counsellor will facilitate that self discovery in an environment that offers certain therapeutic conditions including congruence, non judgement and empathy. 

Studies have shown that counselling works and clients improve, which leads me to the final favourite question from clients -“when will I be better?”

There is no definitive answer to that: everyone is different, but the counsellor role is not one of “curing an illness”, or “fixing something that is broken”, but is the facilitator for a process of growth that is already there within the client. 

PCT recognises that you, the client are the expert in your own life and so can be trusted to explore and ultimately find any change - sometimes we just need a professional to help us on that journey of change”

2. Applause For Thought.

AFT is run by Raffaella Covino and the work she has created is incredible. This non-profit organisation provides free and low cost mental health support, talks and workshops to those who work in the entertainment industry. There is nothing else like this in the arts and provides a safe and educational space. The events run at The Other Palace (Victoria) and cover various topics. You can keep up to date on AFT by following them across their socials (LINK) 
AFT also has a fantastic collaboration with Drew McOnie for Mental Health Awareness Week which everyone should check out! (@ApplauseThought)

3. Fitness/Exercise

Exercise has to be our biggest top tip! Exercise can be challenging but very fun and is great to do this for our brains and hearts that work so hard for us. We have put a list below of various classes/apps below:

- “Couch to 5K” - App

- Ashely’s Class at Pineapple Dance Studios - It provides a fantastic and safe atmosphere to learn and develop confidence and skills, has a supportive judge free atmosphere, brilliant routines and is a lot of fun. 

- Dance for Singer/Actors at Pineapple Dance Studios - A class specifically aimed at Singer/Actors who may still have to go to those dance auditions or who just want to dance and have some fun! A judge free/supportive environment, graduates go for free and run by two wonderful performers Blythe and Danny! 

- West End Meditation - Provides a space for people in the arts to stop and re-fuel in a guided meditation class. These classes run every Tuesday morning 11am - 12pm at Buddha on a Bicycle. 

- Yoga - Yoga is so accessible, from YouTube videos (cost free) to various classes all over London or around your area if you are out of London. If you are a gym member look at your gym timetable as classes may run for free or for a small fee. Jessica Louise Parkinson runs “Musical Theatre Yogi” which is yoga for creatives which everyone should check out! 

- “Happy Not Perfect” - App

- “Headspace” - App

- “Nike running” - App

- “1 Second Everyday” - App

- “Calm” - App

4. Podcasts

You can listen to our Podcast which talks openly to various creatives in the arts on Mental Health, in order to open up the conversation! We are on Apple Podcasts and Soundcloud. However, there are several fantastic and brilliant podcasts out there for many different purposes! 

Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place - Go to podcast! Some wonderful stories with a strong focus on mental health

The 98% - The podcast which discusses openly and honestly about The Actors Life! Funny and truthful! (

GEMA Collective (Gender Equality Movement for Actors) - Everyone should check out GEMA, not only their podcast but the other incredible work they offer! (

My Dad Wrote a Porno - We all know and love it! Laughing is important!

5. King Manual Therapy

King Manual Therapy restores function to body and voice and offers various treatments for creatives including the famous pain free vocal massage, vocal coaching, body and voice connection therapy, myofascial release and full body massage. 
Or you can keep up to date with KMT and keep your eyes peeled for discounts and offers here - @King_MNLTherapy 
Looking after your body especially those in the arts is very important, and we love KMT and they work they are doing. 

6. Talking 

Talking is completely free of charge and one of the most beneficial things you can do to open up the conversation and support mental health. If its in person or via the phone/skype - it all matters. There is always someone to listen and there is always someone there to help. Below we have listened some contact details to people who are always there to listen, help or offer some advice.

Samaritans - 116 123 

Mary Burch (email to book in for your free phone/counselling session) -

SANEline - 0300 304 7000 (4.30pm–10.30pm every day)

MIND - 0300 123 3393 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm)

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