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Mental Health Resources for Behind the Scenes Workers

Stage Directions • August 2020The Callboard • July 29, 2020

Mental health is an important issue to address and these days, with all that is going on in the world, including an extended intermission due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it’s even more important to take care of our mental health. During these difficult times many are dealing with anxiety or depression; struggling to maintain their mental and emotional health. You should feel no shame and seek out help and treatment. If you need some extra support, someone to speak with, or even a therapist, there are resources available. Here are some mental health resources currently available from the Actors Fund and Behind the Scenes.

 

Behind the Scenes has come together with other concerned organizations and individuals to create the Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative. A series of tools and resources has been developed to not only help you but also assist you in helping your colleagues. 

The Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative launched Be Scene – Be Heard, a 24/7/365 anonymous, peer-to-peer chat app for those who work behind the scenes. It can be hard to talk with family and friends about how you’re feeling, especially now when you want to be strong for others because that’s what you do—you’re used to taking care of things. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to people who don’t know you, but who can relate because they’re in this industry too. Maybe you’re doing well but you’d be willing to help someone else just by listening and offering a few words of experience. Be Scene – Be Heard Peer to Peer 24/7/365 Live Chat: www.btshelp.org/chat

Earlier in the year, BTS conducted an industry survey covering mental health and suicide, which revealed that most people want to help if they see someone at risk for suicide but they don’t know what to say or do, or are afraid they will make things worse or damage their relationship with the person. Evidence shows this is not the case and it is critical to reach out.

With these survey results, the BTS Mental Health Initiative has rolled out a number of suicide prevention tools as part of joining the #BeThe1To campaign run by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and its partners. 

The first part of the campaign is called Know the Warnings Signs because the more familiar someone is with the warning signs of suicide the more likely they are to recognize them.

Learn how to recognize the signs of distress and what you can do to help save a life. Find links to more tools, posters, and information from the Behind the Scenes Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative at www.btshelp.org/mentalhealth.

 

The Actors Fund also has help available for ANY performing arts or entertainment professional. They have licensed clinicians that can help industry professionals and their families deal with, and provide ongoing support services, for issues like work and personal stress, anxiety, depression, and life transitions.

The social workers with the Actors Fund can provide evaluation and referrals; short-term treatment; crisis intervention; and advocacy and connections to community treatment resources. Referrals are made to a wide network of providers familiar with industry issues and psychotherapists who accept commonly used health plan networks. Many offer sliding-scale fee schedules, convenient locations, and specialty treatments. Financial assistance may be available to help with the cost of treatment.

Any performing arts or entertainment professional may call on the Actors Fund’s Mental Health services for support, information, or referrals to community agencies. Eligibility for financial assistance requires an application, documentation of your professional earnings, and an interview. For more info go to the Actors Fund: https://bit.ly/ActorsFund_MentalHealthHelp

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