Accessing mental health support

It’s good to know there is great deal of valuable advice about how to access support with mental health as the effect of Covid-19 and now the cost-of-living crisis have been taking an additional toll.  But sometimes accessing mental health services can take a while.  When we saw first-hand what an issue mental health had become for those we support, we decided to do something about it. 

This is to explain in a bit more detail, how dance professionals can access the service which is in one of two ways. To clarify, the scheme we currently have in place with British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) provides up to six sessions of psychotherapy.

We will suggest a course of counselling to some people who have approached us for support, and where it seems likely that counselling would be beneficial.  In this scenario, we directly refer on to BAPAM for an initial consultation. BAPAM will then get in touch with you directly to arrange it.  We pay the cost of counselling on their behalf. 

The other route is for dance professionals who require help, but who have not approached us directly for support can also access the scheme if they need to.  In this scenario they will need to be able to demonstrate to us that they are eligible to our Fund, under our criteria. To do this we ask them to provide a dance CV, but they do not need to fill in a full application form.  Once funding has been approved by Dance Professionals Fund, BAPAM will introduce them to a therapist experienced working with clients in dance and who uses the right therapeutic approach to meet their needs.  

Dan Hayhurst at BAPAM helpfully agreed to explain what happens once the initial contact with BAPAM has been made as follows: 

‘If you are referred, or contact us directly, with a mental health need, firstly, our dedicated BAPAM Helpline team will talk with you about your situation and make a confidential health record. You won’t be asked to go into detail about your mental health difficulties during this phone call, but we ask you about the type of problem you’re looking for help with and whether you’re being supported by other mental health professionals such as your GP and the NHS. We will then book you in for the next available free consultation with BAPAM GP, Psychologist or other mental health professional. These professionals all have specialist experience in mental health and working with artists and creators. The aim is to support you and make a plan for effective ongoing care. You’ll be able to talk about your career and background, and to go into more depth about the nature and history of your mental health difficulties, and the kind of support you think would be most helpful for you’.  

I thought I would leave the last word to someone who has made the decision to take the support, and what it has meant to them: 

‘My BAPAM therapist has been so incredibly helpful. He has quietly and kindly offered me the tools to do the work which has helped me to travel on the very bumpy road of the last year and look forward to the road ahead. Bumpy or not’.    

Dancer, supported by Dance Professionals Fund and BAPAM 

If you would like to know more about accessing the scheme, contact us.

Dance Professionals Fund Eligibility Criteria  

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