BAPAM’s Back to Performance Series
Keeping Mentally Well
BAPAM’s purpose is to improve health in the performing arts and support enhanced performance excellence through well-being and good practice.
As the largest provider of career-specific healthcare to performers in the UK, we are uniquely positioned to bring together expert clinicians, educators, researchers, artists and creators to deliver innovative training to empower the arts community to improve and maintain health throughout our creative work and learning spaces.
This introductory 2-hour session is designed for performing arts professionals and students and outlines risk factors and key strategies to sustain good mental health and wellbeing throughout a demanding career.
The session focuses on evidence-based practical skills and draws from research findings, performance psychology, and proven clinical pathways.
Participants will learn skills for optimal practice including pre and post-performance techniques, how to identify signs of performance and arts-career related mental health problems, how to manage problems including performance anxiety, how to keep mentally well whilst performances are on hold during the pandemic, promoting good health, and where to find help.
Tutor: Denise Devenish
Denise Devenish is a BACP registered person centred counsellor. She runs her own private practice offering a specialist service to those who work in the music industry because she has a background in music, and recognises a great need for specialist services. Growing up in a family steeped in the music business and having been surrounded by musicians and industry folk her whole life, Denise has seen first hand the unique highs and lows that working in the industry can entail. An advocate for talking about mental health in the industry and creating specialist services, Denise is a spokesperson for Help Musicians Uk and also works for the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine on the healthy practice programme, and offers workshops in keeping mentally well whilst working in and embarking on a career in the music industry.
Research looking at health issues within the performing arts workforce consistently finds that 70-75% of our population report both mental and physical health problems, which is much higher than the national average. We are lucky to be working with a number of health and wellbeing experts who can offer training to performers across the UK, with the aim of reducing the levels of poor health and supporting performers to have a sustainable career. Working with our partners in Equity, Musicians’ Union, Help Musicians UK and Performing Arts Education Providers – who are very kindly giving us free use of training venues – we are expanding our national training programme supporting healthy performance in the UK.