It’s been a minute since I caught up with DJ Starting from Scratch, but the team and I had the pleasure of doing so in January 2020 at his second panel-event for Scratch’s mental health initiative: The Show Must Go On, held appropriately on Bell #LetsTalk Day – At the Bell LightBox no less. The Show Must Go On focuses on supporting entertainers, performers, artists, and creatives with the mental health struggles they experience.
I know it’s the tail end of April and mental health awareness month isn’t until May… but in the spirit of Bell #LetsTalk, we’re thinking there is no time to talk about mental health like the present. Mental health in the creative community and entertainment industry desperately needs to be talked about more. In many cases, it’s not just ignored but it’s outrightly feared. It’s a common fear – one you may have experienced yourself – that you somehow may lose your edge creatively if you get sober for instance, or be less funny if you’re actually happy in your life. I can tell you from experience it’s a myth and those things you’re holding on to that you think are helping you, are ultimately holding you back.
Now we’re in a whole new kind of stressful world, and many of us have to find new ways of dealing with our stress loads and mental health. Even as something as centering as going for a walk has suddenly become a little bit more stressful. Most of us are isolated from our friends, coworkers, and maybe even some of our sources of inspiration. It’s tough, but you’re not in it alone. That’s why I’m writing this article and posting this video now – just to remind anyone who stumbles on it that you’re not alone and there are still people out there to talk to!
The Show Must Go On is an initiative started by DJ Starting From Scratch, Iman Grewal, and Brian Pierre to help performers, artists, and creatives find ways to cope with the unusually high rate of mental illness, creative people and artists face.
Dealing with COVID-19 has not been easy on anybody. There’s a lot of fear, miss-information, and general nonsense out there that is getting an unprecedented amount of attention from people we know, people we respect (respected?).
It’s incredibly important to be cautious right now, not only about your health but about the information you’re choosing to believe, and how it’s affecting your ability to cope. Conspiracy theories, fake news, and false information can all feed into pre-existing anxiety and stress. Not to mention, a lot of us are alone right now, so we lack access to the usual support systems that help keep us grounded.
Let’s be real, this sucks, but it’s necessary. That doesn’t mean you’re alone. Try your best to remember you’re less alone right now than ever. We’re digitally connected more than ever before, and the whole world is in this together. If you do feel alone, that’s ok too! We’ve included some links below to some alternative resources for the support you can reach out to, in the now-times.
Support Systems Available via Text Phone or Online Chat
Kids Help Phone
Text Services: Text “CONNECT” to 686868 (also serving adults)
Chat Services: https://kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat/
Youthspace.ca (Suicide Prevention and Support)
Youth Text (6pm-12am PT): (778) 783-0177
Youth Chat (6 pm-12 am PT): www.youthspace.ca
Crisis Services Canada
Toll Free (24/7): 1 (833) 456-4566
Text support (4pm-12am ET daily): 45645
Canadian Crisis Hotline: 1 (888) 353-2273
Apps and Online Services
The Show Must Go On: TheShowTO.com
Providing awareness and assistance around social & performance anxiety for artists and creatives.
Better Help: betterhelp.com
Online access to professional counsellors
On the web, and available for iPhone and Android users
The LifeLine App: thelifelinecanada.ca
Direct access by phone, online chat, text, and email for crisis support
E-counselling, self-management tools, access to crisis centres across Canada
Available for iPhone and Android users
Online Peer Support
Anxiety Panic Support: anxietypanicsupport.com
This peer-to-peer anxiety support network lets people chat online with someone who understands their experiences in dealing with anxiety. Itâ€™s another place that you can turn to on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis for mental health help
Big White Wall Canada: bigwhitewall.ca
Anonymous peer support community accessible anytime, anywhere.