The AMA is delighted that Creative Freedom and Art Fund have once again joined forces to create a space for conversations about mental health and wellbeing at this year’s Digital Marketing Day — Beyond Digital. Colin Beesting starts the conversation by considering the impact social media can have on the mental wellbeing of those working in the creative sector.
Social media is a wonderful thing. It has enabled us to make friends with people who share our passions and keep in touch with distant family. It has also given arts organisations the opportunity to connect with audiences and find new ones.
But with all good things, there tends to be a downside.
A number of studies have found an association between social media use and depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and increased suicide risk. People can develop unrealistic expectations of their body or their lifestyle by viewing life through the edited lens of social media.
For those whose jobs combine social media use with the pressured environment of the workplace, a number of wellbeing risk factors collide — and out-of-work social media habits may not be helping. Abstention is unrealistic — but being proactive in finding mitigations might be. Offline conversations and time out to enjoy culture are both great ways to promote wellbeing.
For those whose jobs combine social media use with the pressured environment of the workplace, a number of wellbeing risk factors collide — and out-of-work social media habits may not be helping.
The Art Fund’s wellbeing report ‘Calm and Collected’ suggested that galleries and museums were an under-used resource for taking time out for ourselves. They’re a resource we know well — and many of us work in them — but are we using them to support our wellbeing? Maybe we should.
Creative Freedom was born out of a desire to change the conversation about mental health in the cultural and creative sectors. Talking about mental health can be difficult. If you’ve ever been concerned about the wellbeing of a colleague, but not spoken to them about it for fear of saying the wrong thing, you’ll know this. It’s a common fear — but one that could get in the way of someone finding the help they need.
If you’re thinking about how you can support your own mental health and that of your colleagues join us for a chat at the AMA’s Digital Marketing Day — grab a free cup of Pukka tea and let’s continue the conversation.
Colin Beesting is Founder of Creative Freedom.
Creative Freedom offers Mental Health First Aider training targeted specifically at the creative and cultural sectors, led by those with direct experience of working in the sector.
Image AMA conference 2019 © Marion Botella.