The Resilience Room – Mental Health & Wellness Support for Creative Industry
The global pandemic has had a profound impact on our communities and workforce, including the arts and cultural industry which has suffered greatly since Covid-19 began. They have experienced significant job losses, venues have been shuttered, and audience halls remain empty of people, music and live performances. On top of the stress induced by the pandemic, there has been racial injustice, political unrest, required social distancing, and the inability for communities, families and friends to come together. The results are that people are struggling personally and professionally. There is an overall decline in people’s mental health causing depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and even suicide, and this is dangerous.
It is the Cultural Coalition’s moral responsibility to help and support our creative community in this time of great need. There is no arts sector without artists, the organizations that share their work, and the people that work there. They are suffering right now and that is why we are offering The Resilience Room designed to give our partners, their employees, and volunteers the knowledge, tools, and peer support to stay resilient in the face of these difficult circumstances and in the future.
Program Description: The Resilience Room will provide mental health and wellness support to those we serve in the arts and cultural industry in eastern CT, including employers and employees, individual artists, and new Northeastern region contacts. Through peer-to-peer meetings, resources and guided discussions, the program focuses on creating and developing personal emotional fitness and a community of support. This allows people to deal with the struggles they are facing right now while simultaneously building resiliency habits so they can handle the stresses of the future.
Emotional Fitness: The ability to process one’s emotions in a healthy way before they manifest negatively.
The Resilience Room Goals:
- Combat effects of isolation, loneliness, anxiety and depression
- Breakdown the stigma of mental health issues by normalizing self-care and mental wellness in the workplace
- Gather and provide space for facilitated, therapeutic peer-to-peer support through relationship building (drop-in and scheduled)
- Provide learning, education and sharing opportunities so that people have the resources they need to take care of their mental health, to have adequate self-care and community care
- Provide tools (emails, videos, links) for on-demand consumption so that this is accessible to people no matter their schedule and location
- Learn techniques for peer to peer support, including QPR (Question. Persuade. Refer.) and prevent as many suicides as possible
- Help people face present stresses while learning habits to be resilient and deal with future stresses
Join facilitator Crisshaun Nelson-Jackson at our first virtual Resilience Room:
Friday, March 12 at 1pm via zoom. Free. Registration Required.
Impact on Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Sector: Nationally, financial losses to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations are an estimated $15.03 billion, to date. 99% of producing and presenting organizations have cancelled events. The total economic impact of organizational and audience-spending losses is $5.2 billion in lost government revenue and 888,000 jobs no longer being supported.
- 35% laid off or furloughed staff
- 10% are “not confident” that they will survive the pandemic (a potential loss of 12,000 organizations)
- 41% of nonprofit arts organizations are currently open
- 59% of organizations remain closed
Impact on Artist/Creative Workers: Artists/creatives are among the most severely affected workers by the pandemic. 63% have become fully unemployed and have lost an average of $21,800 each in creativity-based income since the pandemic’s onset.
- 95% report loss of income
- 79% experienced a decrease in creative work that generated income (62% “drastic decrease”)
- 67% are unable to access the supplies, resources, spaces, or people necessary for creative work
- Black, Indigenous, artists of color (BIPOC) have higher rates of unemployment than white artists due to the pandemic (69% vs. 60%) and are losing a larger percentage of their creative income (61% vs. 56%)
This has been a hard hit to the arts and cultural sector and workforce. It is going to be hard to recover, but the arts are resilient and we can do it. We can do it faster and with fewer losses if the Cultural Coalition provides support now.
New mental health program to launch for arts workforce in eastern Connecticut (The Day, February 2021)