As mercurial Melbourne moves into the warmer weather at last, signs of life are returning and there are green shoots everywhere. After the last 20 months of disruption and change, it’s a little hard to believe that November is here again. For many of us, this continues to be a time of mixed emotions: as we gradually see our industry re-emerging once more and navigate our connections to places and people anew. Wherever you are at, try to be gentle with yourself and those around you – and remember, our greatest strengths are in each other.
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our most recent Mental Health Matinee: Emotional agility and dealing with uncertainty. You can catch up on the session and the rest of the series, or view sessions again, here. We received some lovely feedback after our latest session from musical theatre student Charly Oakley. We are so pleased to have been able to offer something useful and practical at this time, thank you Charly for your kind feedback:
“Chris Cheers’ authenticity and capacity to make even the most daunting concepts feel manageable, valid and human alleviated so much stress amongst myself and my peers. You almost have to pinch yourself that the AWC exists – and for such a diverse group of people who arguably need it now more than ever. As Chris offered tools that are not only practical, but are entirely tangible should one courageously choose to turn inward rather than outward, there seemed to be a collective (albeit virtual) sigh of relief and gratitude, from a union of tired yet persistent artists and art workers who slowly start to emerge out of what was and will continue to be a turbulent time.
Perhaps the most transformative part of Chris’ talk was his reframing of emotional stability to emotional agility — ‘we don’t need to feel better, we simply need to get better at feeling’ — words I will carry with me for a very long time. Forever grateful to witness your work.”
Our next Mental Health Matinee is the final session for the year! Put on some comfortable clothes, and immerse yourself in The Power of Community, from presenter Jossy Jimenez. We hope to see you there!
In other good news, our free, tailored Meditations for Performance energy have just exceeded 1500 downloads! If you haven’t had the chance to check them out yet, the full series is available here.
We are wrapping up our delivery of Mental Health First Aid for the year with another booked out session in November. We have been so fortunate to be able to continue the delivery of MHFA online, thanks to the incredible Annette Tesoriero from Upskill Mental Health. We are hopeful that we will be able to return to face-to-face delivery of Mental Health First Aid in 2022. Watch this space!
Wishing you good health, warmth, and creativity,
The team at Arts Centre Melbourne
A lot of us are feeling tired at the moment, and quality sleep is a key component of mental wellbeing. Take some time to unwind and read through our latest resource Sleep Well, full of practical tips and techniques for supporting restful and restorative sleep.
Mental Health Matinée: The power of community
Monday 29 November 2021, 1pm to 2pm
As we draw to the end of the year and reawaken our connections with each other and with creative work, this Mental Health Matinee from Jossy Jimenez is an invitation to remember the power of community and vulnerability. Immerse yourself within a community of wholehearted people like you and learn practical skills about the importance and value of reaching out for support; in both your personal and professional life. Register →
Support Act crisis relief grants now available for performing arts workers
The Australian Government through the Office for the Arts recently announced an additional $20 million in funding to expand Support Act’s crisis relief grants to performing arts workers. The grants are valued at $2,000 for individuals and $2,700 for families with dependent children and are available to anyone working professionally in the performing arts, provided they meet a set criteria. More than 1,000 people have already applied for a grant. The grants are not competitive – if you meet the criteria, you will receive the grant. We encourage you to apply if you meet the criteria.
Find out more →
The wonderful folks at Theatre Network Australia held an information session about the Crisis Relief Grants earlier this month – you can watch the session here.
Support Act Wellbeing Helpline
The Helpline is a 24/7, free, confidential phone counselling service available Australia-wide to anyone who usually works in the creative industries. You can make an appointment, or request to speak with an experienced, qualified clinician immediately about any aspect of your mental health and wellbeing.
There is dedicated First Nations support and dedicated support for arts managers and leaders available. Call 1800 959 500, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make an appointment.
If you or someone you know is at immediate risk, please contact the Emergency Services on 000.
Find out more →