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.
Online support – members can connect via our many Facebook discussion groups. These are private groups set up for members of our special interest groups and our local groups.
Writers as Carers Support Network – started specifically with the wellbeing of its members in mind, our Writers as Carers Group is a peer support network that exists to help members with caring responsibilities. A safe place for members to share their thoughts, experiences and their writing.
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.
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.
Support 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.
This guide about looking after yourself when working for yourself from Leapers is 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. As well as producing tools to help fill the gaps created by new ways of working, 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
Live Well – healthy living resources 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
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
Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes, this is a safe place to listen, share and be heard. Whether you’re feeling good right now, or really low, it’s a safe place to share experiences and listen to others. Elefriends is managed by MIND, the mental health charity.
- Read more at elefriends.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
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
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.
National Dementia Helpline
Looking for information, support or advice about dementia? This helpline is here for you on 0300 222 11 22.