Coronavirus, the Creative Art Industry & Mental Health

At a time of huge uncertainty across all sectors, many are trying to understand the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the workforce.

In the creative industry there is a strong ambition to understand the impact on public venues, freelance workers and micro businesses as these sectors are directly threatened by the pandemic.

Due to the closures and ban on public gathering, the Creative Arts Industry has become dormant. This was the result of the directive by the government to all unions and other groups to suspend their activities in the face of the outbreak of coronavirus.

Revenues of creative arts and cultural organisations reliant on ticket sales have ceased. During closure the average reported weekly revenue loss has ranged from (75 per cent -100 per cent). Without revenue organisations must cut back on hiring staff and independent artistes and professionals.

The pandemic has badly affected both inbound and outbound tourism. To prevent further spread of the coronavirus, governments have virtually shut down the entire industry.

Flights and hotel bookings have been cancelled thus negatively affecting the economy since tourism has direct impact on transportation, accommodation, food service, creative arts, trade and tourist sites just to name a few affected areas. 

Today, more than ever, the importance of cultural arts and creativity for society is clear. The availability of cultural content contributes to serene mental health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, many creative institutions have created online and free content in recent weeks for that purpose. Sustainable business models during and after the initial crisis are imperative for the sector’s survival. If we chose to leave behind the more fragile part of the sector the result could cause irreparable economic and social damage.

The current challenge should motivate us to design a public support that alleviates the negative impact in the short term, and identifies new opportunities in the medium term for different public, private and non-profit actors engaged in cultural and creative art industry.

The Edem Fairre foundation for Mental Disorder, Depression & Anxiety, has recognised the outburst of negative comments on almost every platform. Truth is, most people are angry.

The little things we do to dodge some painful memories can no longer be escaped due to the impact of the three weeks partial lockdown.

 Some people have lost their jobs, spouses as well as family members who are perhaps breadwinners.

The oblivion of uncertainty, of ‘what is next’ is enough to drive us crazy. In a person with anxiety thoughts such as ‘all hell is about to break loose and nothing positive will happen.’

Voicing out can drive people away or get you tagged as being ´dramatic.’

As an organisation built on the backbones of doctors and nurses who give counselling for the mental wellbeing of others, our team assures you that all hope is not lost. Any emergency case will be attended to and do not hesitate to contact us.

And if you know anyone showing consistent mood swings that could possibly lead to suicide, do get help as soon as possible to avoid serious mental injuries. Do not keep this information to yourself; educate others in languages they will understand. Stay calm, there’s nothing too big under the sun.

There’s always a solution to your problems; you just need to talk to the right person in a confidential environment whiles obeying the social distancing protocols.

I am also thrilled to see a lot of our influencers coming out to help with talks on stigmatisation on mental disorders especially, depression and anxiety.

This is an assurance that you are not alone and it is okay to ask for help. After all, we are all human.

Edem Fairre

Television Host / Multiple Award winning Model and Philanthropist.

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