Mental health is something that we should all be aware of, but we understand that illustration careers bring specific challenges.
While there are some great benefits to freelancing and self-employment, there are also innate challenges – sporadic and unpredictable income, irregular hours, reliance on social media to sustain business relationships and build a personal brand, and a lack of support. These can all be triggers for mental health. PIP, the AOI meet up in Bristol Illustrator explored some of these areas in a talk in early 2019.
At the AOI, we are not mental health professionals, but we are here to support our members. We can help members to make sure that their terms and conditions and contracts are robust, to safeguard their legal rights and reduce exploitation across the industry. Having control of your business and managing your finances can be an important first step for many.
There is a lack of resource available for creative freelancers – something the AOI is looking to address over the coming months. Some members may find this toolkit, aimed at small businesses helpful, and these more general films look at starting the conversation.
Here, we have put together the details of places you can turn to for help if you are struggling with your mental health.
Shout Crisis Support – 85258
This free 24/7 UK text service is for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. Text SHOUT to 85258 for immediate support. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Shout is powered by a team of volunteers, who are at the heart of the service.