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UK National Arts Wellbeing Collective holds its first session at the Royal Albert Hall, uniting venues, touring companies and theatres in discussion about mental health
By Anna Grace on 15 May 2019
The Royal Albert Hall has hosted the first meeting of a new collective dedicated to promoting wellbeing and mental health in the arts industries.
The newly formed UK National Arts Wellbeing Collective (UK NAWC), based on an initiative established by Arts Centre Melbourne, brings together more than 60 arts institutions from around the UK, including music venues, touring companies, unions, theatres and museums.
UK NAWC’s launch event at the Royal Albert Hall included talks from experts alongside networking and mindfulness sessions.
Those attending were also invited to suggest what changes and innovations are needed within the industry and what form the group itself should take.
“We were proud to host the launch of what promises to be a very positive and significant initiative, drawing together colleagues from many arts organisations, all committed to opening up the conversation around mental health and improving wellbeing support across what can be a highly pressurised industry,” says Royal Albert Hall chief executive Craig Hassall.
“We were proud to host the launch of what promises to be a very positive and significant initiative”
The collective is picking up the challenge set by the chief executive of the Arts Centre Melbourne, Claire Spencer, who called on arts institutions in other countries to do more to tackle mental health issues.
The Arts Wellbeing Collective in Australia, which Spencer has helped to pioneer, is mentoring the UK group as it aims to emulate that success.
Discussing health and wellbeing in the live industry at this year’s International Live Music Conference, industry experts referenced the isolating nature of mental health issues and stressed the need for an industry-wide, collaborative effort.
The UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week, hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is ongoing this week (13 to 19 May), aiming to destigmatise and draw attention to mental health issues and inspire action.
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