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Minding Creative Minds | Providing Vital Support for the Creative Sector in Ireland

November 29, 2021

Minding Creative Minds is Ireland’s first 24/7 wellbeing support programme for the entire Irish creative sector.

Over the 17 months since its launch in 2020, Minding Creative Minds has facilitated in the region of 1,000 hours of support across three areas;

1. In the moment support;

2. Service sessions advice (legal, financial, career etc.) and

3. Support counselling sessions.

“The music business has never been an easy path to follow, but the last 19 months have been more challenging than any of us could ever have imagined. The stresses and strains of Covid 19 have been acutely felt by the arts sector who are still not fully back to work. Throughout this time Minding Creative Minds has been providing an invaluable resource, providing support 24 hours a day 7 days a week to the entire arts community. They are there to lend a listening ear no matter how big or small the problem.” – Eleanor McEvoy, IMRO Chairperson

The initiative, which had been in planning since 2018 by Choice Music Prize co-founder, artist manager and psychotherapy graduate Dave Reid, was launched during the summer of 2020.  Initially, Minding Creative Minds services were open to the music sector only; including artists, artist managers, support staff and live music events staff, however, as a direct result of additional funding within six months the organisation’s services were opened up to the entire creative sector; almost one year ahead of schedule.

“I was delighted to provide funding to support the valuable work of Minding Creative Minds in 2021.  Given the difficulties faced by the arts and culture sectors during the pandemic this initiative has been an important intervention to support wellbeing in the creative community.   Throughout 2021 Minding Creative Minds have continued to develop and expand their support for the Irish Creative Sector both home and abroad and I would like to congratulate them on the valuable services they provide. Covid continues to present a major challenge to the arts and culture sector and this uncertainty is very difficult to deal with and Minding Creative Minds is a key support for creatives at this challenging time.”  The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. 

“Our message is simple, with a few key guide markers; 1. Minding Creative Minds was established specifically for our creative sector, for its people, for our needs.  Regardless of your job in the sector; whether you are a stage performer or if you work in a support role; you are in the Irish Creative sector and our services are available to you.  2. We offer a wide range of support services from mental health support and counselling to advice on practical issues (legal, financial, life coaching, career advice, administrative questions around your business if you are self-employed and much more); our focus is to support the entire individual.  3. It is hugely important to us that our colleagues and peers in our sector truly believe no issue is too trivialYou do not need to be in a crisis situation to contact us. You will hear us say and write this quite a lot!  If you have anything on your mind whatsoever, contact us and let us help you. Our services are free to the user and confidential.  So, if you have considered contacting us, but didn’t please follow through. We want to help.” Minding Creative Minds founder, Dave Reid 

Minding Creative Minds’ counselling services (in association with Spectrum Life) include: a 24/7 Dedicated Phone Line; Short-term intervention, telephone Counselling, secure video counselling and comprehensive web portal and app enabling live chat function with a counsellor.

Who is contacting us? (Q3 2021)
Music Sector (Musicians, Live Event Crew etc.) 31.58%
Visual Art & Street Art: (visual artists / photographers etc.) 24.56%
Film (Actors / writers / designers & film crew) 21.05%
Literature / writers / poets / spoken word / comedians 7.02%
Arts Centre Employees & Arts Venues 5.26%
Theatre (Actors / producers / writers / designers / arts admin) 3.51%
Performance Artists / Circus Performers 3.51%
Journalists / TV Personnel covering the arts 1.75%
Dance (artists & arts administrators) 1.75%

“Whatever it is you are dealing with, you can contact the service and speak with one of our case managers and if you need to be referred on to counselling, you will be referred to counselling. It doesn’t need to be a crisis. You don’t have to be at breaking point for you to need to contact us.  It’s really about you; something has changed in my life.  I’m having to deal with things differently. I became a parent, I had a promotion in my job. When change happens, our brains are wired to experience stress, so this can be the time in which you contact us.  We know that once somebody contacts the service, it’s life changing. It’s incredibly life changing for that person, for that person’s family, for that person’s friends” –  Dr. Emelina Ellis, Clinical Excellence Lead

Since its launch just over twelve months ago, Minding Creative Minds has consistently invited feedback on its service offering while also encouraging suggestions for new services and events.  The Irish Creative Sector employs some 55,000 people across the country and we want our users; our creative sector peers and colleagues to help us set our agenda and our objectives of the future.  This ongoing feedback is helping us perfect our current services.  It is our service, we help shape it.  The core Minding Creative Minds team is a small team, so we openly ask our friends, colleagues and peers within our creative sector to help spread our word, this being; our services exists for all of us, we are here and want to help; our services are confidential and free to use.  No issue is too trivial, so let us help you.




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