In an age of increasing uncertainty, instability, and anxiety, thinking about our own mental health — and that of those around us — feels more urgent and necessary than ever. Today marks World Mental Health Day, an initiative that’s been run by the World Federation for Mental Health since 1992. Mental health problems, can, and obviously do, affect anyone, any day of the year, but as British mental health charity Mind says, “today is a great day to show your support for better mental health and start looking after your own wellbeing.”
By now the statistics around mental health are well known but bear repeating: one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem every year, and in England, one in every six people report a common mental health problem each week. It’s an issue that affects us all.
The creative industries are demanding and difficult. Rewarding, yes, but demanding and difficult, too. There are tight turnarounds to meet, clients to appease, invoices to chase, last-minute amends that need attention ASAP, and the day-to-day issue of having to remain creatively active and alert on days when you’d much rather browse Netflix in bed.
It’s Nice That has gathered together a multi-disciplinary collection of creatives from across the world, who consider the implications that mental health and wellbeing has on their practice; with the intention of creating a virtual space of calm and tranquillity, somewhere to sit and think and take time to reflect.
Out there in the real world, we’ve found ourselves in Austrian Art Brut residences and east London zine-making workshops. We’ve spoken to moving-image masters Metahaven, extraordinarily honest photographer Steph Wilson, and the team at Dazed Beauty have given us an insight into how the way we look can have radical effects on how we feel.
At the risk of sounding like a continuity announcer, if you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in today’s coverage, and would like to find out more, donate, or just have a chat; please contact one of the dozens of incredible charities — including Mind, and CALM — in the UK doing amazing work around mental health.