Mental health is a topic of increasing importance in the creative industries. With more and more people working in fields that require constant creativity and mental flexibility, it's crucial to be aware of the potential for mental health issues.
As with any job, there are many ways that our mental health can be affected by work. For example, job stress can lead to anxiety and depression. Additionally, working long hours can lead to burnout.
Managing this with the challenge of being creative, coming up with new ideas and focusing entirely on specific campaigns can further add to the pressures we put ourselves under.
People are very good at masking their inner turmoil.
With links between depression and creativity supported by a common characteristic of creative individuals often isolating or feeling isolated, we consider the impact of loneliness.
This Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked Sonya, who volunteers for the charity MIND, to share some advice from her experiences to help us identify someone who may be struggling with their mental health and how we can provide support.
"There are many signs of feeling lonely from over-use of social media, eating junk food, binge-watching TV and surrounding yourself with material things. All these can be to fill a void. The list goes on; people are very good at masking their inner turmoil.
We can do many things to help ourselves and others. Talk to someone. That first phone call, text, email etc... could be the best step you take.
We can't help with everything; key to my role with Mind is to listen. Then when appropriate, ask questions and identify when they need professional help.
We can suggest things they can do to improve their mental health, such as hobbies, eating well, exercising, taking breaks, asking for help and calling a family member/friend.
The biggest takeaway is to reach out, and make sure your family, friends, and colleagues know you are available for a chat, walk etc. By being available, those struggling will have the opportunity to open up to us."
Sonya Patel, Far'n'Beyond
With no single cause and no one solution, all of us are likely to experience poor mental health at some stage in our life.
Brainstorming is a great way to focus your mind and develop your thoughts.
If you're feeling unusually stressed or anxious yourself, having difficulty concentrating, or feeling burned out, it's essential to take action.
At work, first, try to find ways to reduce stress - delegating tasks and setting realistic goals is a good start. If you are struggling for creative inspiration, take a break or discuss the challenge with others. Brainstorming is a great way to focus your mind and develop your thoughts.
Finally, talk to someone if you're struggling - a mental health professional, a trusted friend or family member, or your supervisor at work.
Don't suffer in silence - reach out for help if you need it.
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