British Association for PERFORMING Arts Medicine

Mental Health Support at BAPAM

Mental health is complex

Mental ill-health varies from performance anxiety, generalised anxiety and depression to more complex, enduring or acute conditions. There is no “one size fits all” solution.

If you work within the performing arts industry and would like to seek support for issues relating to your mental health, you can contact BAPAM. Depending on the type of work you do, we can offer a range of services.


All those who work or study in the performing arts can access BAPAM’s free, expert clinical assessment service which includes advice from BAPAM’s mental health team. Many people can also access free short-term mental health and psychotherapeutic support provided by BAPAM, which is funded by Help Musicians, Equity, Equity Charitable trust and other organisations. Please note that free psychotherapy is only available to those who meet the eligibility criteria set by our partner organisations. If you are not eligible for a funded mental health support scheme, BAPAM will endeavor to help you find other suitable sources of support, including NHS care and self-funded psychotherapy from performing arts-specialist practitioners listed in our Directory.

For musicians, musical performers who sing, and those in the music industry who are eligible, BAPAM is supported by Help Musicians’ Music Minds Matter service. We can provide short term one-to-one therapy. Continue reading to find more information below, and if you have any further questions please get in touch.

For creative practitioners with an Equity membership , we are supported by Equity and can either offer a psychosocial 6-week support programme, or, if the mental health issue(s) you are experiencing are a direct result of your work, up to 6 sessions of one to one therapy. For further information, please see Mental Health Support | Equity.

Other organisations are also able to support therapy from time to time, and many are listed in our Financial and Practical Support Factsheet.

Each funding organisation determines their own eligibility criteria and BAPAM’s role is to work with you to determine the best way forward to support your clinical care.

Remit of BAPAM’s Mental Health Service

BAPAM does not provide emergency or urgent-care medical services, prescriptions for medication, or specialist advice for specific conditions such as eating disorders, or issues relating to alcohol and substance use.  Anyone who is seeking help for these conditions will be directed back to their NHS GP with signposting to other organisations who may be able to help.

It is important that we keep your safety at the heart of what BAPAM does. Therefore, only patients who consent to BAPAM sharing information with  their NHS GP (or mental health team if appropriate) can receive formal mental health support through us. Whilst most of the time we will not need to contact your GP, in an emergency, it is essential that we are able to, in order to protect you. In any situations where your relationship with your NHS GP has broken down, we will encourage you to reconnect with the NHS, changing GPs if necessary, to allow us to be sure that you are safe, whilst accessing our services.

Urgent Mental Health Support

If you require any emergency help, please contact the NHS in the usual way, via your GP surgery or 111, or in an emergency via A&E or calling 999. Our Mental Health Support in a Crisis Factsheet, may also be helpful. For on our secure, confidential database and you will be booked in for the next available clinical assessment.

What Happens When You Contact Us?

The BAPAM Helpline number is: 020 8167 4775. We are open from Monday- Friday 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.

You can also email us at if you would prefer to reach out to use in writing.

Our helpline is open to all those working in the performing arts with a health problem that affects their occupation. If you contact us with a mental health need, our dedicated BAPAM Helpline team will take some basic contact information to register you. You won’t be asked to go into detail about your mental health difficulties during this phone call, we will ask you to provide specific details that will be sent to you after the initial call.

We will need to collect the following information from you at registration:

  • Basic contact information – name, date of birth, address, email, phone number etc.
  • Emergency contact details
  • Your GP details and your consent for us to contact them if needed
  • Basic information regarding your performance practice and any unions or professional organisations that you may be a member of
  • The type of problem you require help, with and whether you’re being supported in the community by other mental health professionals such as your GP and/or a community mental health team

Your details will be logged on our secure, confidential database and our team will send you a secure link to enable you to complete a mental health assessment form, in your own time, which asks for more detail regarding your current issues. If you require support to complete the form over the phone with a member of the team,  please ask us and we can arrange this.

What Can I Expect Once I have Completed BAPAM’s Mental Health Assessment Form?

The mental health team will usually complete the triage process within two weeks of receiving your completed form.

Depending on the information in your form and your request for support, the outcome is likely to be one of the following :

  • We recommend and signpost you to the NHS, or another organisation that can help you. This outcome would commonly be for those who are seeking a specific diagnosis or have complex mental health needs that BAPAM is unable to help with as we do not have the expertise and necessary resources
  • You are placed on our waiting list for a therapist once your funding has been approved. This outcome is generally for people who have a specific request for therapy, whereby the issue(s) can be improved with a short course of therapy, for example performance anxiety, work related stress or a bereavement
  • We require more information to be able to assess you fully. This may involve a phone call from the BAPAM mental health team, an assessment with a BAPAM clinician, or we may request for you to make a routine appointment with your own NHS GP


Our Therapists

All our therapists work with performing artists, and we verify their qualifications to practice. They are located across the UK and although many provide online therapy, there are opportunities for face-to-face therapy. Our team will match you with a therapist best suited to your needs.

We will follow up with you when your therapy is complete and ask you to provide us with feedback so we can improve our service.


Discharge from BAPAM Mental Health Services and Further Accessible Support

If you have completed a course of therapy at BAPAM, and/or are looking for other accessible support and care, you can find more information here.

Other Ways to Access Non-Urgent /Non-Emergency Support For Mental Health in the Performing Arts

You may wish to seek other support and there are some industry-specific helplines which are available 24/7.

The 24/7 Music Minds Matter Helpline number is: 0808 802 8008.

Film and TV Charity Support Line: 0800 054 0000
24/7 advice for those working in the UK film, TV and cinema industry. Email and live chat support also available.

Theatre Helpline: 0800 915 4617 /
24/7 phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry.




Drop us a line

BAPAM is a Registered Charity No. 1167785
Contact us:

London Office

British Association for Performing Arts Medicine
63 Mansell Street, London, E1 8AN