Mad Artist Mutual Aid

Yellow square with Mad Artists Mutual Aid written in pink
Mad Artists Mutual Aid

Draft 2 – 30 March 2020.

What is this?

During the Covid 19 Crisis MAMA is a group of individuals that seek to provide mutual support, comfort, wellbeing, listening and practical advice. 

For artists and culture workers to organise and connect people via a (low traffic) WhatsApp group. Individuals can then chat/talk together how they feel safe, in private digital spaces.

To begin with this group is not totally open, those joining need to be vouched for by another existing member – this will be reviewed once it’s all working nice. This is to make sure everyone is safe. 

What it does?

We seek to provide mutual aid and take a mad pride approach, an inclusive and non hierarchical approach to mental health and neurodiversity.  

We are here to listen to each other.

Distract each other when required.

Be silly and tender.

Advise each other or share our experience.

Signpost each other to existing services and projects where we can get help.

MAMA uses the safer spaces boundaries outlined below.

What it doesn’t do?

We are not therapists and don’t provide therapy, but could help you find one. 

We are not psychiatrists and don’t advise on medication – though we can share our experience of being on a particular medication. ALWAYS talk to a doctor before changing medication.

Sell things to each other.

Promote a particular agenda or model of mental health that dominates others.

Share news or comment pieces – do this on your own social media.

Boundaries / Behaviour / Limits.

PLAY NICE, BE PATIENT.

Try to only send group messages whilst the sun is up, remember many people struggle with sleep and need their quiet time. 

Remember no one is being paid and this isn’t a ‘professional’ service you can make demands of. 

It’s really important to only offer what you are able to offer. Respect each other’s limits, capacity and amount of spoons. Don’t make yourself stressed or distressed supporting someone else. 

Safer Spaces Boundaries. 

  1. Ableism, homophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, or prejudice based on ability, asylum status, class, ethnicity, gender, gender presentation, nationality, or religion is not welcome here. 
  2. Each of us has different physical and emotional boundaries that must be respected. Please get verbal consent before crossing these  boundaries. 
  3. Be aware of the privileges you bring and how that may affect others. 
  4. Don’t make assumptions about the opinions of others or how they identify. Kindly ask first and then actively listen.
  5. Make every effort not to judge, look down on or enter into competition with others. 
  6. Be aware of the language you use in discussions and how this relates to others.
  7. Work together to foster a spirit of mutual respect: Listen to the wisdom everyone has to share. 
  8. Be kind with your words. Give generously to allow everyone time and space to speak and share their thoughts and ideas.
  9. ‘Respect the person; challenge the behaviour.’
  10.  The rules still apply if you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

To join MAMA please email suck@vacuum.org.uk

Shout out to Sarah Bailey, Nwando Ebizie, Cecilia Wee and Jens Welsh