Resources to help you look after yourself, especially when you’re working intensively or alone, or when financial or other pressures are getting too much.
Make the most of your SoA membership
Don’t forget to make the most of the support available as a benefit of being part of the SoA’s national community of authors.
Events and workshops – get involved with our regular events and workshops across the UK to connect with fellow members facing similar daily challenges.
Local and special interest groups – as a member they’re free to join, and they offer opportunities throughout the year to stay in touch with creatives in your area or working in your specific discipline. No local group in your area? We can help you get one off the ground. Find out more on our local groups page.
Peer support networks – started with the wellbeing of members with shared life experiences in mind – we now have peer-to-peer support networks for Carers, Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses and our Comics Creators.
Online support – members can connect via our many Facebook discussion groups. These are private groups set up for members of our special interest groups, local groups and networks.
Resilience: how to cope when bad stuff happens
Life is never smooth. Sh*t happens. So what can help? Clinical Psychologists Fiona Starr and Mike Solomon have each experienced trauma in their personal lives. In this video they open up about what they have learnt about being resilient, coping and thriving when times are tough.
Resources for Creative Freelancers
Working Well: Good Mental Health and Creative Freelancers
This resource has been developed by the Association of Illustrators, the Society of Authors and the Association of Photographers. Our organisations work with a wide range of creative freelancers including writers, illustrators, photographers, animators. From our conversations and research, we know that there can be situations and issues that can impact on our members’ mental wellbeing and, in some cases, can lead to them experiencing poor mental health.
This resource aims to throw a light on some common issues encountered by creative freelancers and offers practical strategies if you are concerned that your wellbeing is slipping.
Mental Health for Creative Freelancers
Mental Health for Creative Freelancers is a collection of 11 stories written by Edward Ross, each illustrated by a different artist in their own style. It tackles everyday challenges that will be familiar to anyone working freelance in creative fields, including money, rejection, imposter syndrome, working alone, performance anxiety and social media. The artists include Norm Konyu, Simone Lia, Shazleen Khan, Hannah Berry and Graham Johnson.
The comic can be downloaded for for free via the link here and is suitable for creative freelancers across many disciplines – visual arts, literature, theatre and more
Leapers: Forum and Resources for Creative Freelancers
Working for yourself can bring its challenges. Whether you work on your own or freelance in a larger organisation, it can be easy to forget to add your own wellbeing to your to-do list. Looking after yourself when working for yourself is a practical guide from Leapers, full of small, practical tips to make a difference to your mental wellbeing, compiled by a community of people who know what it’s like.
At the heart of Leapers is a Slack channel. It offers a community of people who understand the challenges, and a place where non-judgmental conversation can take place. Within the Leapers Slack channel there is Huru – a mental health forum for this community of independent workers. It’s free to join: you just need to provide your email address and they’ll send you the invitation.
- Read more at leapers.co
Watch our collection of wellbeing videos on our Vimeo Channel
- Holistic Health at Home with Ignaty Dyakov-Richmond. Find out more about Ignaty at: www.lifesensei.uk
- How to Work Well at Home with Matthew Knight. Find out more about Matthew’s tribe at: https://www.leapers.co/
- Wellbeing for Authors with Dr. Richard Pile. Find out more about Dr. Richard Pile’s Wellbeing Guide: Fit for Purpose.
General Health & Wellbeing Resources
Low-cost Counselling Service for the Arts
From as little as £15 per session, Wellbeing in the Arts is able to provide access to a diverse range of student and experienced Counsellors, all of whom are based across the UK, are BACP / UKCP registered, and have an experience, knowledge and understanding of the unique challenges of working in the Arts.
Its Counsellors will be able to work with you on any personal or professional issue from anxiety, depression and stress through to addiction, trauma and eating disorders.
- Read more here
Live Well – from the NHS
A great set of articles and guides from the NHS, from healthy eating and exercise, to smoking, alcohol and apps to help you manage your health; plus a specific guide on musculoskeletal health for those who work at a desk.
- Read more at nhs.uk
Five steps to mental wellbeing (NHS)
The NHS lists five actions that, according to research, can help to boost our mental wellbeing. Also available is a mood self-assessment quiz to help you better understand your emotional state.
Every Mind Matters
Expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, from the NHS.
- Read more at nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters
Good Thinking is an NHS-approved online resource for Londoners. Find tools and resources to help yourself and others to feel better. From managing your anxiety to meeting like-minded people, whatever it is that you need, Good Thinking wants to help you find it.
- Read more at good-thinking.uk
Side by Side
Side by Side is Mind’s online community (formerly Elefriends) where you can listen, share and be heard.
- Read more at sidebyside.mind.org.uk
Arts Minds is a mental health website designed specifically for creative practitioners. Run by the performing arts community (led by BAPAM, Equity, The Stage and Spotlight) it offers guidance around health, career, relationships and more – all with a practical understanding of the pressures that creative practitioners face.
- Read more at artsminds.co.uk
Reading Well, a resource set up by the Reading Agency, helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using helpful reading. The books are all endorsed by health experts, as well as people with living with the conditions covered and their relatives and carers. You can be recommended a title by a health professional, or you can visit your local library and take a book out yourself.
- Read more at readingagency.org.uk
Mind Infoline – 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
Mind Infoline can talk to you about where you can find help, and about medication and treatments, and more. They can also provide legal information and general advice on mental health related law. The line is open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
- Read more at mind.org.uk
MIND has also recently launched a set of resources around mental health in small workplaces with some free and quick online training. Mental Health for Small Workplaces contains three modules, each talking about 20 minutes to complete:
- Building your awareness
- Looking after yourself
- Supporting each other
You can download a free PDF guide full of tips and advice from mentalhealthatwork.org.uk
Mental Health Foundation
The Mental Health Foundation publishes eight free to download pamphlets on practical approaches to specific mental health issues, including anxiety, self-harm, reducing stress and mental health in later life.
- Read more at mentalhealth.org.uk
National Dementia Helpline
Looking for information, support or advice about dementia? This helpline is here for you on 0300 222 11 22.
- Read more at dementiauk.org
Refuge – 0808 2000 247
The UK’s largest single provider of specialist domestic violence services – supporting more than 4,600 women, children and men each day.
- Read more at refuge.org.uk
Relate – 0300 100 1234
The UK’s largest provider of relationship support, supporting more than a million people each year of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships.
- Read more at relate.org.uk
Student Minds is the UK’s student mental health charity. They empower students and members of the university community to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their own mental health, support others and create change.
- Read more at studentminds.org.uk