Wellbeing and COVID-19

The Covid-19 crisis has created an unprecedented challenge and many of us are worried about the impact it is having on people's wellbeing and mental health. We have created this page to provide our members with tools to support themselves and their colleagues and employees.

SOLT and UK Theatre recognise the need to promote a healthy work/life balance for everyone working in the sector. Having wellbeing embedded as a core value within working cultures enables the workforce to thrive personally and professionally, develop resilience and improve productivity.  The Wellbeing Programme aims to improve the mental health of the sector by collecting and analysing data, collaborating with others, sharing best practice and initiating change. 

 If you have ideas, links, articles or other resources that we can include on this page, please email: ceooffice@soltukt.co.uk.

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Immediate help with your mental health
Other sources of help
  • Theatre Helpline  - The Theatre Helpline is a free, independent and confidential phone and email service that provides support to people working in the theatre industry. Trained staff are available to offer support and signposting on any topic which affects your wellbeing, including: Bullying or harassment; Issues with employment or unemployment; Debt and financial issues.       

    0800 915 4617      


COVID-19 resources

For the latest COVID-19 information from UK Theatre and SOLT, please visit our dedicated page. For UK Theatre and SOLT members, you can also view our latest COVID-19 updates. Here we have gathered a number of resources support people working through the lockdown.     

  • Theatresupport.Info - In light of the closure of many UK theatres due to the Covid-19 virus, leading theatrical charities have come together to centralise information about how and where you can access support if you work in the theatre industry.   
  • Theatre Means Business - There are a number of webinars covering health and wellbeing.    
  • Every Mind Matters - An NHS resource that provides simple tips and advice to start taking better care of your mental health. If you are still struggling after several weeks and it is affecting your daily life, please contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
  • Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance - a library of resources on different topics including freelance support and guidance for working online. The Alliance is also the secretariat of the APPG for Arts, Health and Wellbeing.
  • UKNAWC - includes sections on how to lead others and look after yourself during COVID-19 
  • ACAS have published new guidance to help staff manage their mental health at work during coronavirus
  • Mental Health during COVID-19 - social study, results weekly from the MARCH Network.

If you are worried about your job security

Redundancy support (PACE)

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) is Scotland's national strategic partnership framework for responding to redundancy situations.

Government resources    

Working from home

Employee engagement ideas

Training courses / providers
  • The Wellbeing Project - The Wellbeing Project is a consultancy, providing advice, wellbeing and resilience assessments and resources across all industries and sectors. 
  • AMA's How I Cope series 

Case Studies 

We are currently asking members for examples of good practice which will appear here as case studies. If you have one you'd like to share with members, please get in contact

Wellbeing related blogs from UK Theatre

We regularly ask people to write blogs for us on different subjects, here are those related to access. 


There are a number of awards you could enter to celebrate the work your theatre is doing, here are some of them: 

Personal wellbeing is a particularly important dimension which we define as how satisfied we are with our lives, our sense that what we do in life is worthwhile, our day to day emotional experiences (happiness and anxiety) and our wider mental wellbeing' The What Works Centre for Wellbeing's definition. 

We are continually looking to improve this page. If you have any resources you think we should be adding, or if this page needs to be updated, please let us know

Arts Participation research

'People who had attended a cultural place or event in the previous 12 months were almost 60% more likely to report good health compared to those who had not': The Arts Health & Wellbeing, Why the arts make us healthier & happier - Cultural Learning Alliance

Dr Daisy Fancourt's research into arts and health

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPGAHW). It's Secretariat is The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance.

UKRI's Arts & Health page

Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing Report

The Role of the Arts and Culture in Social Care

Arts Engagement and Wellbeing

The Role of Arts and Cultural Organisations in Health and Wellbeing

Older People and Professional Participatory Arts in the UK

MARCH Network - UK Theatre are one of the founding members of the network

CultureCase - Kings College London includes many studies, such as:

  • Theatre training can improve cognitive function and psychological wellbeing of older people
  • Theatre and performance can improve the social skills of 'at-risk' youth 
  • Understanding the relationship between happiness and arts attendance
  • Help prevent depression in old age by staying culturally active
  • Using the arts to enhance communication in dementia care
  • Cultural engagement lowers the risk of developing dementia in old age
  • Attendance at cultural events associated with longevity
  • The relationship between subjective wellbeing and engagement in arts, culture and sport
  • The health benefits of an arts project for older offenders
  • Prolonged arts education reduces stress in children from low-income households
  • Long-term improvements in wellbeing and social inclusion through art for people with mental health difficulties
  • Frequent attendance at cultural events associated with reduced cancer mortality
  • The benefits of arts engagement for people experiencing mental health issues
  • Concert attendance reduces stress and improves immune function
  • Using culture in local development to increase wellbeing
  • Participating in cultural activities is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction
  • Cultural activity can improve the health of older people
  • The arts may improve health, wellbeing and vitality
  • People who frequently attend cultural events tend to live longer
  • An active cultural life helps people live longer
  • Cultural engagement can bring you psychological wellbeing

Workforce & wellbeing research 

Rosie Perkins' research at the Royal College of Music   

Lucy Heyman's research on Musicians’ health and wellbeing 

Film and Television Charity – ‘The Looking Glass’ Mental Health and Well-being study

Art Fund Report on Museums and Galleries and wellbeing 

Industry taskforce
SOLT and UK Theatre have convened a taskforce group to help steer and develop the work. This includes senior figures from across the industry, including those from the UK Theatre & SOLT Board and other industry bodies. 

  • Fiona Allan: UK Theatre President and CEO / AD Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Stephanie Sirr: UK Theatre VP & CEO Nottingham Playhouse
  • Michele Taylor: UK Theatre Board – Ramps on the Moon
  • Nia Janis: Playful Productions, SOLT Board
  • Kris Bryce: UK Theatre Board – Executive Director, Pitlochry Festival Theatre
  • Brenna Hobson: UK Theatre Board & National Theatre Scotland
  • Jon Gilchrist: UK Theatre Board & Executive Director HOME


Evidence gathered from a range of sources indicates that there is scope to develop a culture of wellbeing in the theatre sector:

  • UK Theatre and SOLT’s 2017 Workforce Review told us that in the theatre industry:

    • There is a culture of overwork
    • Inflexible attitude to caring responsibilities leading to talent drain
    • There is an existence of a workplace culture where new entrants are exploited to get a foot in the door (a ‘tournament culture’ within theatre)
    • An offstage workforce feels undervalued
    • A culture of short-termism
    • The cost of London living and London-centric nature of theatre
  • Safe and Supportive working practices project, 2018
  • UK Theatre member survey, 2019
  • Discussion and a poll at Theatre and Touring Symposium, 2019
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"UK Theatre" is the operating name of UK Theatre Association, a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales, whose registered office is at 32 Rose Street, London, WC2E 9ET, Company No 323204.