“Every single one of us working on this project is entitled to work in a safe space: a space free of fear, a space free of bullying and harassment of any kind. We will work together honouring our differences and celebrating the gifts we each bring to the table.
“We will treat one another with politeness and respect at all times and, if we are subjected to or witness bullying and harassment, we will speak out knowing that our voices will be heard and we will be taken seriously. Together we can create a safe space.”
– Equity UK
Theatre and Dance NI are dedicated to the Creation of Safer Spaces across the theatre, dance and performing arts sector, and relevant educational fields and institutes. We believe that this not only includes calling out and ending bullying, racism and harassment but providing training events that promote the safety of artists whilst working, and supporting their physical and mental health.
This is being supported through delivery of our:
- Membership Assistance Programme (MAP)
- Counselling Service*
- Mental Health and Wellbeing Series**
- Information Sharing Sessions on the Intimacy on Set Guidelines**
- Training Sessions including Anti-Bias training, Mental Health First Aid Training and First Aid Training**
- Relevant resource and policy documents*
- One to One Member Support Meetings*
- Conferences and Events**
- Partnership with University and Further Education Colleges
* Exclusive to Paid TDNI Members/Requires TDNI Membership
** Discounted for Paid TDNI Members
Information on each of these can be found below:
Membership Assistance Programme MAP
Our MAP is designed to support Member’s health and wellbeing and is delivered by Spectrum Life.
MAP includes 24/7 professional counselling support for paid TDNI Members, their families and paid staff of member organisations under certain bands. To access this service, or read more about it, click here.
Through phone call, or online chat function of the app, you can speak directly to a licensed and accredited counsellor. Additionally, you can arrange six face-to-face sessions with a counsellor no more than 30 miles of your house, home or workplace on the island of Ireland. This service is entirely confidential.
- Click Here to download the Wellness App for IOS.
- Click Here to download the Wellness App for Android.
The Spectrum Life Wellness App also provides content to support your mental health and wellbeing, that can be accessed via computer or smartphone. Through the app, you can set personal health and wellness goals, access digital fitness programmes, recipe videos, mental health articles and more.
Mental Health and Wellbeing Series
Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic, we ran online Mental Health and Wellbeing Coffee Mornings in partnership with Equity. These sessions were open to anyone working across the Theatre, Dance and Performing Arts sectors to come together and engage in activity whilst learning all about the mental health and wellbeing services that are available.
From October 2021 after restrictions eased, this became our Mental Health and Wellbeing Series, supported by Belfast City Council. Taking the focus of a non-theatre or dance related activity, participants come together in person to be led by a team of professional facilitators, helping reconnect post-lockdown and learn about the mental health resources available, all while trying something new!
Our activities so far have included:
- Mountain Biking
- Archery and Rock Climbing
- Mindfulness and Movement.
These sessions are open to everyone, with members receiving a discounted price. Make sure to keep a look out on our socials and clash diary for the next session!
Intimacy on Set Guidelines
Intimacy on Set was established by leading Intimacy Coordinator Ita O’Brien, pioneering the role which has since gained adoption in leading production houses, including HBO, Netflix, and the BBC. Since 2014, Ita has been developing the ‘Intimacy on Set’ guidelines which are a list of recommendations for best practice when working with intimacy, scenes with sexual content, and nudity in film, TV, and theatre.
Partnering with Ita O’Brien and the team, we ran sessions online (2020) and in person (2022) that allowed Ita to work with practitioners and educators from across NI in exploring the guidelines, their importance and steps towards change. These sessions, while not intimacy co-ordinator training, focused on creating awareness for the guidelines and the need for a fully accredited and qualified intimacy coordinator working with production companies in Northern Ireland.
Keep a watch on our social media and clash diary for more of these events coming up however if you have any immediate concerns on how intimate content is being handled on a project, do not hesitate to get in touch with ourselves, Equity or click here to see other organisations that can help.
Through training and sharing of information, individuals can be empowered in calling out and speaking up, ensuring the safety of themselves and others around them. In the past we have ran training of this nature including First Aid Training and Safeguarding training.
In 2022, we hope to continue these sessions by offering Unconscious Bias Training, facilitated by Inc Arts, with the end goal of running Anti-Racism training for individuals and organisations across Northern Ireland.
Check out our Clash Diary or Social Media for updates on when these training sessions will be taking place.
Theatre and Dance NI have created a list of resources that can be used by our members to inform policy, strategy and better understand issues that may impact individual’s health and wellbeing.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Health and Safety including Venues
- A Guide to Recognising Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace
- Defining Abuse
- Creating Safer Spaces Resource Document
- Equity Agenda for Change Reports
To access these, and more, contact Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Member Support Meetings
We are available for one-to-one member support meetings to support both the professional and personal lives of our members. These sessions offer individuals and groups a chance to share questions, develop ideas and ask advice, but can also be used as a safe space to share concerns and seek further support from external organisations.
These sessions are confidential and can be arranged by contacting any TDNI Staff Member.
Conferences and Events
We run regular conferences and networking events in partnership with organisations sharing the goal of safer working environments across the Theatre and Dance Sector.
In 2022 we led a conference on ‘Step Towards Change – Creating Safer Spaces and Working Environments in Northern Ireland’. Chaired by Caoileann Curry-Thompson Acting Head of Drama and Dance Officer at Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the event was run as part of our Masterclass Series and had panellists from Ulster University, TU Dublin Conservatoire, The Ulster Screen Academy and Ita O’Brien, Intimacy On Set.
Check our Clash Diary and Social Media for any upcoming conferences and events.
Partnerships with Educational Institutions and Bodies
At Theatre and Dance NI, we recognise the importance of empowering the next generation and understand the need for Educational Institutes and Bodies to share in good practices to further prepare these students for the creative industries.
We are currently working with Universities and Further Education Colleges across Northern Ireland to develop a professional network that allows for sharing of knowledge and resources. In addition to this, we aim to meet, attend and engage with as many student led organisations as possible, and present to students as part of their course.
If your university/college/school organisation or society could benefit from working with Theatre and Dance NI, or you are seeking advice and guidance in achieving a particular outcome for your society, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.
Further Resources and Support:
- Equity Safe Spaces
- Equity Agenda for Change
- Equity Mental Health Resources
- Intimacy on Set – Self Care Support Organisaitons
- Arts Council of Northern Ireland Safeguarding Policy and Reporting Concerns
- Inc Arts Counselling for Ethnically Diverse people affected by the attitude and behaviours of others.
- HSC Public Health Agency – Support Organisations