Arts Hub, Madeleine Dore
16 Nov 2015
“‘It’s not up to individuals to change an organisation’s culture,’ said Anatolitis. ‘The organisation has to make it clear to everyone that each individuals’ health and wellbeing is vitally important to the organisation.
It is essential that people feel empowered and confident in their work. ‘Think of the workplace as being an environment of complex human beings with daily cycles, with weekly and monthly and yearly ones. Really think about what are the things that foster the best environments for people to be healthy and fulfilled in their environment.’
At Regional Arts Victoria, the organisation is structured to support staff as people with lives, creative pursuits and families. From professional development to fortnightly art salons designed to spark conversation and the introduction of flexible work weeks, the organisation is setting benchmarks for self-care in the arts.
‘There is a small number of practical things that the entire industry needs to do – we need to consolidate with one voice and make clear nationally impactful statements about the value of the arts. We need to value everyone’s work as individuals, and we need to lead transformative cultural change such that we have the healthiest, most fulfilled people working in the arts,’ said Anatolitis.
When we prioritise OH&S in our workplaces, we should equally prioritise mental health and self-care by developing policies and procedures, making Mental Health First Aid Training being as commonplace as First Aid. Country Arts WA has developed a thorough checklist for arts and mental health projects which could be adopted to help organisations prioritise self-care.”