Minister announces funding of €230,000 for the expansion of the Minding Creative Minds wellbeing & support programme to the Irish creative sector
The Minister for Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D., today announced funding of €230,000 for the expansion of Minding Creative Minds existing service to the entire Irish creative sector, both home and Irish abroad.
Workers in the cultural, creative and live entertainment sector continue to be significantly affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Life Worth Living, the Report of the Arts and Culture Recovery taskforce concluded, “All these factors are having a damaging effect on the mental health and wellbeing of people working in these sectors”. Recommendation 6 of this report further recognises the need to establish a programme that provides wellbeing supports to the creative sector.
Minding Creative Minds (MCM), Ireland’s (32 county and Irish overseas) first 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the Irish Creative community launched in June and is now open to the entire creative and live events sector delivered by Spectrum Life. This is only possible due to continued support from our funding partners (First Fortnight, IMRO, IRMA, MCD, Universal Music Ireland, RAAP, The BAI & KPMG) and this summer being chosen as a beneficiary of EPIC Working Group’s (www.epicwg.com) fundraising initiative, Songs From An Empty Room held in July and ongoing We Are The Support Act fundraising initiatives.
Minister Martin said: “I am very pleased to announce this funding to support the important work of Minding Creative Minds. Now more than ever, our creative community requires support. I would like to congratulate Minding Creative Minds on their success to date in rolling out this innovative programme of supports to those requiring assistance in the music sector and I look forward to the expansion of this programme over the coming weeks, which I am sure will be welcomed by the Irish creative sector, both home and abroad.
Of this expansion founder Dave Reid said, “We are delighted to announce the expansion of Minding Creative Minds which will enable anyone working in the Irish Creative Sector the opportunity to mind their mental wellbeing and be able to contact qualified counsellors and experts in different fields such as financial planning, legal and career matters enabling expert advice and helping to manage personal issues they might be facing. Working in collaboration with our partner organisations and with the Department of Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport & the Gaeltacht we can now provide a comprehensive support structure for the entire Irish creative sector.
Minding Creative Minds Wellbeing & Support programme (in association with Spectrum Life) now offers the following Wellbeing services to the entire Irish Creative Sector
- 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line (Phone 1800 814 244) (Calling from NI /UK – 0800 0903677) (International 00353 15180277
- Counselling Service (Short term intervention / Up to 6 Sessions)
- Telephone Counselling
- Secure Video Counselling
- Extensive Web Portal & App enabling live chat function with a counsellor
In addition to the mental health support system offered, Minding Creative Minds wishes to look at the whole individual resulting in the programme also offering access to a number of additional services structured to help users with various issues they may face such as:
- Advice on practical, day-to-day issues that cause anxiety and stress
- Legal Assistance for a range of issues
- Financial Assistance & Consumer Advice
- Career Guidance & Life Coaching
- Support for Non-Irish Nationals & their families
- Mediation for conflict resolution
Minding Creative Minds also held it’s first peer support ‘Meet & Greet’ meeting on December 1st and further meetings and supports for the sector will be rolled out over the coming months.
The Minding Creative Minds original funding partners are First Fortnight, IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation), IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association), MCD Productions, RAAP (Recorded Artists, Actors & Performers), Universal Music Ireland, The BAI (Broadcasting Authority of Ireland) & KPMG. This additional funding by The Department of Culture, Arts, Media, Tourism, Sport and the Gaeltacht is very welcome and now allows us to extend our services to the entire Irish creative community.
There has been a substantial uptake of users during the first six months of the Minding Creative Minds programme and of those who contacted the service 40% did so seeking mental health consultation with over 26% actually having either video or telephone counselling and over 34%% wanted practical advice (career guidance, financial assistance, legal assistance and life coaching) During the first three months since its launch 58% of those who have contacted the MCM are women. 46% of MCM’s users are based in Dublin, over 11% in Munster, 12% from Connacht, 5% from Ulster and there have been people contacting the service from London also.
The Irish Creative sector is expansive and diverse, below is a sample guide of sectors who can now utilise the services of Minding Creative Minds;
- Music Sector; Musicians & Live Event Crew & other workers in the sector (to include bookers / music students & personnel involved in all forms of music including trad / jazz and opera)
- Theatre; Actors, producers, writers, designers, arts administrators
- Film; Actors, writers, designers & film crew
- Visual Art & Street Art; Visual artists, photographers, painters, sculptors etc.
- Dance; artists & arts administrators
- Literature; writers, poets, spoken word artists, comedians
- Journalists and TV personnel covering the arts,
- Arts Centre Employees & Arts Venues, Performance Artists, Circus Performers