May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this national movement is exceptionally important as the COVID-19 pandemic has affected how creators work and make a living. Isolation, combined with the closure of venues and the halt of some creative industries, has put incredible pressure on the creative community and their families. Fortunately, countless organizations offer advocacy and support programs to serve the creative community. The Copyright Alliance has compiled a list of 12 creator-focused mental health resources designed to support our community.
The Actors Fund
The Actors Fund offers a variety of resources for those who work in entertainment and the performing arts. The organization’s website lists resources such as social services and financial assistance, health and health insurance, and senior care. The Actors Fund’s professional social workers offer counseling and support groups, education, emergency financial assistance, and practical help completely free of charge.
Art with Impact
Art with Impact “promotes mental wellness by creating space for young people to learn and connect through art and media. The organization focuses on empowering young people to “communicate freely and fearlessly about their mental health,” including by providing information about different mental illnesses. Notably, Art with Impact has been supporting student mental health during social distancing by offering two-hour long virtual workshops that help young adults, health professionals, and community members gain a better understanding of mental health in their environment through film.
Artist Relief Fund
Artist Relief is a fund created by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists designed to provide financial, professional, social, and mental health support to artists. Through the fund, artists can apply for financial support and access additional resources for online workshops, national grants, local grants, open calls, and a variety of other emotional and practical guidance. One standout resource is monthly hour-long live conversations where an Artist Relief coalition member leads a conversation on a topic relevant to responding and adopting to new circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Backline provides mental health and wellness resources for the music industry through case management, support groups, and mental health and wellness resources. The Backline website offers easy ways to connect with a case manager, join a support group, and find mental health and wellness organizations across the country. Backline also offers opportunities to join their referral network, become a partner, share their story, start a fundraiser, and donate to the non-profit organization.
Black Mental Health Directory
Black Mental Health Directory strives to reduce the stigma of mental health in the Black community, primarily through a directory of Black Mental Health Providers available in Chicago and the surrounding areas. The Directory strives to create an expanding understanding of mental health that includes spiritual, physical, political, ancestral, nutritional, and other aspects of holistic wellness. Based on this approach, the directory includes interdisciplinary services such as psychologists, social workers, substance abuse counselors, spiritual diviners, marriage and family therapists, activists, and artists with a range of gifts, talents, and certifications.
Entertainment Industries Council
The Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) aims to make a difference in the entertainment industry by more effectively addressing and accurately depicting major health and social issues. Through its Team Up media resources, EIC offers “Social Media Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention”; “Style Guide: Reporting on Mental Health”; “Faith and Family Friendly Toolkit”; and “A New State of Mind: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness,” narrated by Glenn Close. EIC also runs the First Draft Program, through which it provides technical assistance to writers, producers, and actors by connecting them to experts. In addition, EIC hosts the Prism Awards, an award show that shines a light on creators, TV shows, and movies that accurately depict mental health and social issues in TV and film.
Freelance Artist Resource
The COVID-19 Freelance Artist Resource website offers a variety of resources for freelance artists and those who wish to support the independent artist community, such as emergency funding, personal finance resources, anti-racism and social justice resources, arts and community advocacy, community care and mutual aid, professional development for artists, and more. The website’s mental health resources include links to free mental health resources in English and Spanish, resources for addiction and recovery, digital care packages for artists and creatives, and more.
MusiCares, run by the Recording Academy, provides mental health and addiction recovery services, health services, and human services to the music community. For mental health and addiction recovery services, MusiCares provides support, referrals, and emergency financial assistance for counseling, psychiatric care, inpatient treatment, coaching, intensive outpatient care, sober living, and more. MusiCares also offers assistance for musicians that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Music Minds Matter
Music Minds Matter “care[s] for the minds that make the music you love” by offering safe spaces for musicians and those in the music scene to chat about their successes or challenges, mental wellness meetups, contact information for the Colorado Crisis and Support Line, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the Crisis Text Line. In addition, the organization offers Mental Health First Aid, a certification program where participants can learn how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Nuçi’s Space is a Georgia organization with the mission of preventing suicide. Nuçi’s Space focuses on providing mental health resources for musicians, such as a safe space to seek support and guidance, access to affordable, obstacle-free professional care, and treatment and educational programs.
Silence the Shame
Silence the Shame was founded with the vision of erasing the stigma of mental wellness and education communities through Community Conversations, Wellness Trainings, compelling content, and an outreach program. Silence the Shame offers Mental Health First Aid Trainings in the Atlanta area. Silence the Shame’s content includes its podcast and webisodes addressing mental health topics.
WE RISE LA
WE RISE “encourages wellbeing and healing through art, connection, community engagement, and creative expression. The organization is offering special events throughout May: Mental Health Awareness Month, such as Art Rise, a series of 21 art experiences; Community Pop-Up activities across Los Angeles County neighborhoods; and a robust Digital Experience, offering original programs that can be enjoyed from anywhere. WE RISE also offers a 24/7 Help Line, available through call or text, and links to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health’s Mental Health Resources webpage.
The Copyright Alliance is here to support creators regardless of how difficult times may be. It is okay to feel like you need help, and this list shares only a small portion of the organizations ready and looking to support creators like you. Remember, You Are Not Alone (#NotAlone).
Looking to learn more about resources for creators? Check out the Copyright Alliance’s Creator Assistance Directory.
Photo Credit: iStock/Blueastro