It’s no secret that the ladies at Women Connect have no trouble getting bodies in a room. In fact like the title of their company would suggest they excel in bring women from all walks of life together for open and honest conversations.
However, what these women do goes beyond the realm of ordinary discussions. Each of these women is helping to spearhead the movement planting the seeds to create purposeful and sustainable change within the creative industry.
The ladies of women connect have never shied away from the taboo topics and uncomfortable subject matters; this event was no exception.
As the panel took their seats amidst the hushed tones of an audience in the middle of networking, I knew immediately that we were all about to be treated to wealth of knowledge and humorous anecdotes.
The topic of discussion? Mental health in the creative industry.
According to ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’, a new study commissioned by Help Musicians UK, musicians are three times more likely to experience mental health issues, with 71% experiencing panic attacks and 69% experiencing depression, in comparison to the 25% of the general public dealing with these same issues.
One of the major reasons for this included money issues caused by juggling various jobs and dealing with unpredictable pay and poor working conditions.
This was one of the subject matters the panel sought to address, during their incredibly insightful discussion.
Hosted by Bre Antonia, who by the way did a brilliant job, the panel on the night included representatives from Sony Music UK, Help Musicians UK, Getahead, Music and You and BAPAM, as well as UK rap artist Che Lingo.
As each individual bravely shared their own personal, and at times vulnerable moments with the audience, there was a powerful sense of solidarity in the room.
With isolation being identified as one of the biggest barriers to those struggling with their own mental health issues seeking help, it was heart warming so many individuals feeling comfortable enough to share their journey with total strangers.
A testament no doubt to the safe space the ladies at women connect have created.
What did we learn?
Firstly, that were a whole host of inspiring initiatives out there set up to assist those battling mental health issues within the creative industry.
(Further information on this can be found on each of the panellists websites listed above)
Beyond that, there was the recurring theme of how imperative it was to have healthy alternatives to the sometimes toxic environments prevalent within our industry. Some key suggestions that came out of the discussion included the introduction of ‘safe hubs’ backstage that were alcohol-free zones as well as the introduction of a ‘healthy rider’.
One of the most profound statements from the evening was that
“It just takes a few people to lead the way and others will follow”
With events like these the ladies at Women Connect are most certainly leading by example.
Check out our interview with some of the women from the team for more of an insight as to why events like these are so important: