Traits that can make a dancer so valuable in the dance world - drive, perfectionism, obsessing over details - also put them at higher risk for mental health disorders. And while physical health resources become ever more commonplace in the dance world, mental health resources remain woefully lacking, oftentimes uncomfortably left in a hidden half-shadow.
A few years ago, Kathleen McGuire Gaines wrote an article for Dance Magazine, “Why are we still so bad at addressing dancers’ mental health?” The article went viral, becoming one of the most-read articles in the history of the publication, and the response ignited a passion in Kathleen to bring mental health issues to the forefront of conversations, while bringing resources to the doorstep of every dancer. In this Bendy Bodies episode, Kathleen shares her own journey through the mental health minefield of the dance world, and how it spurred her to bring help to the current generation of dancers by founding Minding the Gap, a social good start up for dancers’ mental health.
Kathleen talks about how depression is sometimes erroneously mistaken for weakness, that shame is a terrible motivator, and how encouraging and informing correct coping strategies can make all the difference. She shares her desire to reduce eating disorders by addressing the underlying mental health issues, and reveals why it’s so important to have one specific phone number ready in your phone for sharing.
Join us for this important conversation we all should be having!
Learn more about Kathleen:
LinkedIn: Kathleen McGuire Gaines
Learn more about my guest cohost, Jennifer Milner:
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National Suicide Hotline - 1-800-273-8255