A new, free helpline has been launched by wellbeing experts, Stress Matters, to tackle the growing number of professionals struggling to cope mentally and financially as a result of the epidemic.
Laura Capell-Abra, founder of Stress Matters, said: “Everyone in our industry is being impacted and this is causing a high level of anxiety. We are seeing a large increase in the numbers of people applying to be a ‘Buddy’ on our Buddies Matter programme (our free peer-to-peer matching service), but we were also conscious that there are lots of people who will need more qualified mental health support.
“We have worked around the clock to set up the Stress Matters Support Line so that everyone now has free and easy access to trained MHFAs. At the moment the Support Line is manned by MHFA volunteers, but we are appealing to the industry for funding to enable us to extend this crucial service to a 24/7 helpline accessible through all communication methods.”
The helpline, supported by the four industry professionals (Laura Capell-Abra, James Capell-Abra, Laila Datoo and Andreas Georgiou), is receiving around 15 connections a day either by phone, SMS or Whatsapp enquiries – but this number is steadily growing.
Capell-Abra added: “Some of the stories we hear are heart-breaking. Junior team members who are just starting out in their events career, who have been working solely on an event that has now been cancelled, so have yet to experience the buzz of putting an event on and seeing it come to life.
“A company owner who was devastated that he was having to make half his company redundant as he knew that even with furlough, the business wouldn’t be there quickly enough after to keep them on. He was feeling like he had let the team down and was questioning whether he was fit to run the business if he was feeling so guilty.”
The Stress Matters Support Line is open from 8am to 8pm and can be accessed by texting 07481 362111 and a trained MHFA will respond and call back.
What they can help with?
- For those that are worried about someone else, they may have noticed changes in their behaviour or emotions.
- For those that are struggling with being isolated and are feeling lonely.
- For those that are concerned about their financial security and that of their family due to changes in their work.
- For those that are feeling low and don’t know how to talk to people they are close to about it.
- For those that are feeling persistently anxious.
Anyone wanting to talk to Laura directly about financial support, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other useful online events for wellbeing:
7 April 2pm: Stress Matters
Stress Matters will be running a webinar called ‘Thrive from Home’, which aims to help event professionals learn strategies for reducing the overwhelm and practices to enable them to be present and focused when working from home.
7 April & 21 April 4pm-5pm: EventWell
Discussing all things mental health, EventWell will host two webinars from 4pm-5pm, 7 April and 21 April. From managing event cancellations, to stressing the importance of sleep and sharing relaxation techniques.