Lending an ear: mental health support and helplines for theatre professionals

by Abi Cutler

There is no doubt that these unprecedented times are proving difficult for everyone from all walks of life. Actors and theatre professionals have been hit especially hard, with UK theatres closing indefinitely and job security at risk. However, in what can seem like a very scary period, there are several places to turn to for help - remember to take care of yourself first and foremost and keep in check with your mental wellbeing.

If you want to reach out for help or guidance, check out the following:


Theatre Helpline

0800 915 4617

[email protected]

The Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre launched this 24-hour helpline in 2018 for industry professionals. It is a confidential resource where you can discuss any personal and professional concerns, from your career and finances to bullying and both physical and mental health.

Call the number above free of charge or send an email to the above address.



A collaboration between BAPAM, Equity, The Stage and Spotlight, ArtsMinds has clear and useful guidance sections including mental health, career, finances, relationships, helping others and a section for those in immediate danger.

Pretty much any issue you can think of will be covered in this comprehensive resource hub.


Playing Sane

Playing Sane aims to battle the neglect that mental wellbeing has previously received in the theatre industry. On its website you can read advice from a wide range of people and groups, access other useful resources and find signposting for your specific problem if you need to take it further.

The not-for-profit group is also always on the lookout for input around their fundraising, research and submissions.


The Theatrical Guild

The Theatrical Guild provides practical help to backstage and front of house theatre workers, whether with financial support, counselling, welfare or anything else.

If you'd like to ask them for advice or assistance, simply fill in the application form on their website.


Equity Charitable Trust

Equity Charitable Trust provides offers financial support to theatre professionals considering a change of career, have had an adverse change in circumstances or need debt or benefits advice. They offer educational grants to retrain and re-qualify in a different field, welfare grants to help with unexpected setbacks, and theatre grants to provide seed money for capital building projects that will benefit actors directly.

If you believe you qualify for any of these grants, apply on their website.


These are only a few of the brilliant helplines you can turn to - for even more head to https://theatresupport.info which is dedicated to support available during the Coronavirus crisis.

Photo by Alexander Andrews | Unsplash


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