In reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the mental health of artists and filmmakers, the annual Tongues on Fire UK Asian Film Festival (UKAFF) marked Mental Health Awareness this week with a new initiative called Talking Therapy tailored for the entertainment world.
As part of this unique offering, therapists will be at hand to provide a phone support service for artists in need. The service aims to offer emotional support, signposting problems, advice and information along with details of organisations and support available on a case by case basis.
“We are launching a much-needed free Talking Therapy service for artists working in the creative and media industries because during these difficult times, people are feeling anxious and isolated, worried about the financial uncertainty and in some cases the loss of loved ones,” explains Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry MBE, the founder of UKAFF and a qualified psychotherapist.
“We would like to support artists and filmmakers by helping them explore, through Talking Therapy, a range of options that are out there but most importantly being there to listen,” she said.
As part of the service, artists will be able to access a safe space to speak in confidence with a therapist, who will listen and consider possible options.
The support line is open to help UK-based artists dealing with issues such as bereavement, depression, anxiety, stress, worry, feeling lonely and isolated, having relationship problems or suffering domestic abuse.
To access the therapy, artists can call a dedicated helpline (07930 491915) and leave a confidential message providing contact details and their preferred time of contact. A therapist will then call back within 24 hours.
Tongues on Fire is a not-for-profit organisation that provides a platform for independent film and arts from South Asia. It celebrates Indian culture, its vibrancy and its many dimensions through storytelling, live events, master-classes and cinema screenings.