Healthy Art Making: Mental Health Care for Artists

Dear artists, cultural workers, art students, teachers, and mental health care professionals, we would like to invite you to an evening of practice sharing focusing on mental health care in the arts.

Highly precarious creative work in Europe lacks systemic support directly linked to the mental health of artists. Cultural workers often have non-standard working conditions, low income, and limited social protection, which can lead to difficulties in their careers and poor mental health. At the same time, artists and mental health care professionals seek ways to improve their working conditions and to take care of their mental health. We invite four speakers from the field of arts and mental health to share their experience and practice, followed by a Q&A with audiences. This event is a first step towards establishing an international network of cultural workers and mental health care professionals and enabling them to share their practices, inspire each other, and learn from each other.

You will have an opportunity to learn about the practices of the following speakers. Zeren Oruc (DE/TR) is a curator and artist who organises workshops on mental health in the arts and fair practices; Roger Williams (GB) is a person-centred counsellor who has an affinity with creative people; Just Monkeys (CZ) is a theatre group that designed a ‘Mental hygiene for students of acting’ course, and Petr Polák (CZ) is the ombudsman of the Theatre faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague working on improving relationships at the faculty. Find more details about our speakers below.

The evening is a great opportunity to get inspired, to join the conversation, and to learn about mental health care practices as well as ways of improving working conditions in the arts!


Date: 6th November 2023, from 18:00 CET

On-site: Café Anežka, Anežská 812/12, 110 00, Prague

On-line: Zoom, we will send you a link prior to the event.

The event will be in English.

The event is free, but registration is required. You can register by filling in this form.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The project is organised by Vendula Ježková, founder of Just Monkeys. It is supported by Just Monkeys, Café Anežka and Dafa Puppet Theatre. The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from the International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe. The project is a part of +Artivism Project for V4 Countries organised by Pro Progressione.


Just Monkeys is a Czech theatre collective that specializes in experimental theatre courses, workshops, and community engagement. Their ‚Mental hygiene for students of acting‘ course addresses the challenges faced by students of acting. With mental health often neglected in art school curricula, Just Monkeys aims to fill this gap and support vulnerable students dealing with exhaustion, anxiety, and self-esteem issues. Their goal is to integrate their course into the conservatoires‘ official curriculum. Angelika Sbouli is an actress and school psychologist; her main area of interest is education in relation to mental health. Karolína Vyhlídal Hýsková is an actress; she leads theatre and movement workshops and teaches at Ostrava University and Janáček Conservatoire. Vendula Ježková graduated with a PhD at the Janáček Academy of Performing Arts. She collaborates with the Psychosomatic Clinic in Prague 6, where she engages in Creative Play and educational projects. She is the founder of Just Monkeys.

Roger Williams is a person-centred counsellor who has an affinity with creative people. He is an Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and is a practitioner with over 14 years‘ experience as a therapist, executive coach, and mental health trainer. He supports clients, including actors, singers, musicians, and other creative practitioners who are struggling with their emotions. He works with a wide range of psychological issues, including depression, addiction, and different forms of anxiety. He has a special interest in working with those in the creative arts and helping them manage issues such as generalised anxiety and panic, perfectionist-thinking, imposter syndrome, and self-esteem issues. Roger is increasingly interested in working with younger emerging actors in the creative arena to help them accept themselves and build resilience to be working in a challenging and often rejection-filled industry. He works to help them develop self-confidence and resilience.

Zeren Oruc is an independent curator dedicated to exploring and addressing modern issues of ecology, society, and sustainability through interdisciplinary artistic projects. Her practice revolves around decentralized and non-hierarchical approaches rooted in long-term collaborations, with the intention of establishing an environment that fosters open conversation and care. She has curated exhibitions and projects that highlight the complexity of contemporary environmentalism and ecologies of the rural. Zeren is the co-founder of Montemero Art Residency in Almeria, Spain, which focuses on alternative art production and land-based practices. She organizes curatorial sessions and workshops on mental health in the arts and fair practices & transparency on artistic fees. You can find more information about her practice on

Petr Polák was elected as the Ombudsman of DAMU in April 2022. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Arts at Masaryk University in Brno. He has a strong connection to theatre and teaching. He worked at the Office of the Ombudsman in Brno, where he held various positions since 2007, including eight years as the head of the Equal Treatment Department. Furthermore, he is an external lecturer at the Academy of European Law (ERA), was a member of the Board of Directors of the European Network of Equality Bodies (Equinet) until 2019, and has also lectured law at his alma mater. Petr is a national tutor for the HELP programme of the Council of Europe and a lay judge at the Regional Court in Ostrava for criminal cases. He has authored or co-authored numerous publications, proceedings, and articles related to protection against discrimination.