Mental Health First Aid Project


In response to the growing need for mental health support within the creative industries, a collaborative project was initiated to explore the role of Mental Health First Aiders in addressing the unique challenges faced by creative workers – particularly freelancers within the live events sector.

Following CULT Cymru’s extensive work around mental health and wellbeing that includes training over 150 mental health first aiders from the sector over the past six years, the project aimed to train and incorporate mental health first aiders into organisations with extensive interaction with creative workers.

The organisations we piloted the programme with are:

    • Denbighshire/Wrexham Music Co-operatives Network, led by Heather Powell, Head of Service

    • Swansea Arena, led by Lisa Mart, Venue Director

    • Theatr Clwyd, led by Wesley Bennett-Pearce, Director of Producing

In total, we trained 33 new accredited Adult Mental Health First Aiders for the creative sector, with a commitment to support all creative workers engaged with their organisation.

Additionally, a series of 5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events were organized to facilitate knowledge exchange and networking among mental health first aiders.

Meet some of our new Mental Health First Aiders

Jonathan Marlow, Deputy Experience Manager at Theatr Clwyd

“I supervise front of house areas during performances at Theatr Clwyd including the bar area. I wished to do the course to find out more about mental health and to understand and know what to look for to help our team and audiences.”

Thomas Baird, Housekeeping Assistant at Theatr Clwyd

“I work for Theatr Clwyd, I am a polite lad who likes to work and volunteer. The reason I wanted to learn about mental health first aid is because I have an illness (bipolar), and I spent a long time in hospital. Now I have recovered and enjoy life, I thought this course could make me better around other people who have mental illness.”

CPD and Networking Events

Each CPD event followed a structured agenda designed to engage participants and provide valuable insights into mental health support.

Speakers from organizations such as:

    • Cruse Bereavement Support

    • Film and TV Charity

    • Time to Change Wales

    • WAHWN (Wales Arts Health and Wellbeing Network)

    • BAPAM (British Association for Performing Arts Medicine)

    • Mind Cymru

shared their expertise and resources, enriching the discussions and Q&A sessions that followed.

The events also served as platforms for participants to share their own experiences and challenges, further contributing to the collective understanding of mental health in the creative industries.


The Mental Health First Aid project represents a proactive and collaborative approach to addressing mental health challenges within the sector.

By training new mental health first aiders and facilitating ongoing learning and networking opportunities, the project aims to build a supportive ecosystem where creative workers feel valued and empowered to prioritize their mental health and well-being.

Moving forward, the establishment of a dedicated network of Mental Health First Aiders promises to be a significant step towards fostering a healthier and more resilient creative community in Wales and beyond.