Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance: Practitioner support resources

Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance: Practitioner support resources

By Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance


A range of ideas, opportunities and networks focussed on supporting the wellbeing of cultural practitioners. Curated by the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance.

We know from our members that creative freelancers and organisations delivering culture and creativity for health and wellbeing - and in fact all socially engaged creative work - need more help to do their work in a healthy and sustainable way. Nicola Naismith's research 2019 report Artists Practising Well reflected a wider need across museums, heritage and freelance practice for logistical and emotional support. This has been backed up by our own sector surveys in 2020 and 2021.

This resource recognises that the wellbeing of the culture, health and wellbeing workforce and the communities it serves requires a combined and shared effort. It brings together a range of ideas, opportunities and networks focused on practitioner support.

If we are to work effectively to support health and wellbeing, practitioner support must be embedded in funding structures. All commissioning organisations must put plans in place to support freelancers. See our short report on the Practising Well Award, below, for ideas on how to do this.

Please get in touch at if you would like to promote any practice and thinking in this area on this page.

The resource includes a selection of GIFS from Kazzum Arts' animation, ‘Supporting professionals impacted by Trauma


Culture Health and Wellbeing initiatives

What can we learn from the Practising Well Award?

Devised in collaboration with Nicola Naismith, our annual Practising Well Award celebrates organisations nominated by practitioners for embedding practitioner care into project design, commissioning and management.

The document below summarises and provides a brief analysis of the support offers from shortlisted programmes and projects.

This document will provide guidance for employers and commissioners considering their support offers and for funders hoping to understand more about what constitutes good practice.

Creative Well

In response to a series of conversations with Yorkshire and Humber members in June/July 2020, CHWA Regional Champions Deborah Munt and Sue Mackay collaborated with integrative arts psychotherapist Roshmi Lovatt to design Creative Well, a pilot programme supporting practitioner wellbeing.

Read the first version of the report, here.

We are currently fundraising to roll this programme out.

Mutual Support at the CHWA 2021 conference

Mutual Support was one of the four themes of our April 2021 conference, A Culture of Care. Head to the Mutual Support Padlet which was populated by panellists and attendees of the CHWA 2021 National Conference, A Culture of Care.

Research, Resources and Blogs

Image: Nicola Naismith

Artists Practising Well Report by Nicola Naismith

This report recognises that the practitioner, commissioner, organisational leader, funder and policy-maker all have roles to play in the health and wellbeing of creative practitioners, supporting them in their making of quality work. Read more

Image: Illustration by Robin Lane-Roberts for Kazzum Arts

Becoming trauma-informed as an arts and mental health organisation: our journey so far - Alex Evans, Kazzum Arts

Alex Evans, Artistic Director at Kazzum Arts, explains the impact taking a trauma-informed approach has had on their arts work with children & young people, staff and artists, and throughout the organisation. Published by The Baring Foundation, June 2021. Read more

6 people with arms raised high in three rows of one, two and three.

Artists on the frontline – what support is available for artists’ wellbeing?

The Barings Foundation's Harriet Lowe authored this article in Autumn 2020 in response to the the raising issue of practitioner wellbeing in the arts & (mental) health field, with the impact of COVID-19.  Read more



The Support Hub Report- image of brain with rainbow shield

The Support Hub Report 2021

Throughout 2020-21 the Arts & Health Hub provided an innovative support project for artists working in the sector. In response to a survey during the first COVID wave, they secured ACE funding to support the immediate needs of artists in our network. Read the full report here


Circle of Care, Performing Medicine

The Circle of Care Framework: Performing Medicine and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Trust

Circle of Care re-envisions compassionate healthcare by describing a multi-directional flow of care between healthcare professionals and their colleagues, patients and carers. The model also positions ‘self-care’ – the way healthcare professionals care for themselves – as fundamental to achieving effective healthcare. Read more here

Embrodied creative response to CHW21 Conference

LAHWN Workforce Wellbeing and Development

Head to the Leeds Arts, Health and Wellbeing Network's resource on Workforce Wellbeing and Development resource, providing insights for the arts, health and the arts and health sector. Find out more here

Manifesto for a mentally healthy cultural sector

Creative Freedom’s Manifesto for a mentally healthy cultural sector falls under five headings: provide first aid, remove stigma, be vigilant, reduce risk and offer support. Read more

abstract watercolour image

Julia Fortier: Creative Facilitation for Health and Wellbeing

Research participants in Julia's work have been sharing their pre-COVID-19 facilitation experiences, and practice changes since the pandemic by participating in an online discussion group, a focus group, or in interviews. Read more

AUE Good Practice Charter for Artists

Artists Union England's good practice charter focuses on Valuing and Rewarding ArtistsHealth & SafetyWorkers' Collective VoiceDiversity & EqualityMental Health & Wellbeing in the workplace; and Social Responsibility. The pdf also links to further helpful resources.  Read more

What's the benefit? Supporting disabled artists who are on benefits

Here is a blog and resource from Unlimited from August 2021. They contracted Alistair Gentry, freelance artist, writer, and former Unlimited trainee, to undertake some investigation what is happening and what everyone can do now... Read more



A beaded star with eight points


Dwell Awhile; a series of podcasts by Dwell Time in partnership with the Yorkshire Visual Arts Network

Peer-nominated artists to talk about their art practice, the contentiously uncritical term ‘resilience’, mental wellbeing and the impact of Covid-19 on their practice. Listen


Performance for Care

Performance for Care advocates for the integration of arts and creativity within healthcare education and professional development. The collaboration is led by Dr Alex Mermikides (Guildhall School of Music & Drama) and Dr Sara Donetto (King’s College London), and it has a particular focus on performance (theatre and dance) in nursing. Click here for more resources and information

How Ya Doing?

How ya doing? Mae’n Mynd? Wales Arts, Health & Wellbeing Network Artists Wellbeing Programme

A short film with the findings from  WAHWN 's recent consultation for the How Ya Doing? Sut Mae’n Mynd? Artists Wellbeing Programme. Watch the film


Please get in touch at if you would like to promote any practice and thinking in this area.

More resources from Culture Health and Wellbeing



Browse by learning pillars
Teams, Management & Culture
Browse by smart tags
Health Networking Wellbeing
Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2022