Mental Health Guidelines for Venues
This guide was initially developed by Viv Gordon, an artist living with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, when touring her first solo show I am Joan in 2016/17. Informed by The Social Model of Disability, she wanted to experiment with mental health friendly making and touring processes addressing not just her own individual needs but the structural barriers she faces in her work.
Viv applied the learning from this pilot in different contexts including as an Agent for Change with Salisbury International Arts Festival 2017 and as a mentor to a range of artists living with mental health conditions. In 2018, Salisbury Playhouse invited Viv to co-curate their Theatre Fest West symposium themed on artist wellbeing, in partnership with Take Art, Activate and Theatre Bristol. This document was discussed and developed by delegates at the symposium including other artists campaigning for mental health access and inclusion including Emma Louvelle, Louisa Adjoa Parker, Dolly Sen, Viki Browne and Richard Crowe. Viv has worked with Wiltshire Creative to develop this document and include input from a venue perspective.
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