When the fringe is no joke: minding your mental health in Edinburgh

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Performing at the festival can be a taxing experience. Objectively Funny has created a peer support network that turns attention offstage

It’s lunchtime in Edinburgh’s Old Town and I’ve swapped comedy for something more serious. On stage, psychotherapist Rachel O’Connor draws a picture of the brain while people in the room share stressful moments from the first fortnight of the fringe: flyers arriving late, nightmares about missing their own show. Soon, we are all releasing tension with some diaphragmatic breathing.

While punters enjoy the buzz of the fringe, others often have a much tougher experience. Those working here deal with low wages, fragile living arrangements, long shifts and constant rejection. Performers face a potent mix of financial stress, pre-show anxiety, pressure to party, and the dread of a two-star review. Comedy production company Objectively Funny is working with O’Connor to provide support.

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.


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