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Happy Mental Health Awareness Month! If you’re searching for ways to improve your mental health – and enjoy yourself while doing so – try engaging with theatre or other performing arts experiences. On The Stage explores a few ways that theatre itself can improve mental well-being… one performance at a time.
Perhaps the most obvious of theatre perks? The community it fosters for everyone involved. A few ways theatre can foster a community includes:
Seeing oneself in a beloved character on the stage means a great deal to those that feel invisible or pushed aside in their day-to-day lives. Theatre offers a positive representation of:
Through emotional connections with others, theatre helps viewers to better understand their fellow man. Within the theatre, empathy can be learned about:
Theatre has the unique ability to introduce students to different cultures and perspectives, helping them to develop a better understanding of the world. Cultural awareness and education lead to greater empathy.
It’s no secret that the world can be a dark place. Theatre can often act as a safe haven, where people escape for a few hours to feel inspired. If someone’s mental health is low, stories of triumph, resilience, and perseverance can bleed over into day-to-day inspiration. The only thing more powerful than fear, after all, is hope!
Studies have shown that audiences and cast members who struggle with mental health concerns can feel less alone when seeing mental health portrayed on stage. By feeling less alone, stigmas surrounding mental health can wane. By this logic, theatre can help people:
Theatre provides a safe, supportive space for people of all ages and skill levels to explore their emotions and develop self-confidence. Taking social risks, expressing oneself freely, and connecting with others will build self-esteem. Theatre programs, then, are crucial for promoting personal growth and preparing people for success in the future.
Mental health issues are tough, but help is out there. Whether you’re a member of the creative community or just need everyday resources, we offer a few:
The Actors Fund: The Actors Fund offers licensed clinicians who can provide industry professionals and their families support for issues related to personal stress, anxiety, depression, and life transitions. Financial assistance is available.
Backline: Backline is a non-profit that connects music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources. The organization wants to build a safer and more supportive music industry by helping the community access quality mental health care providers that understand this line of work.
Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants: This program provides one-time grants of up to $5,000 for recent unexpected medical, dental, and mental health emergencies to artists in financial need who are creating in the visual arts, film/video/electronic/digital arts, and choreography. Only generative artists are eligible.
Find Treatment: FindTreatment.gov is a confidential and anonymous resource for persons seeking treatment for mental and substance use disorders in the United States and its territories.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals in the United States.
As we embrace Mental Health Awareness Month, our hearts go out to all those who dedicate themselves to organizing and running theatre programs- because we understand firsthand the immense pressure and stress that comes with it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and seeking ways to lighten the load, we invite you to experience the difference of On The Stage! Book a personalized demo today to see for yourself how our services can not only ease the challenges but also contribute to a healthier and more balanced theatrical journey!