EPIC and Showmen community team up for mental health

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

EPIC Assist Charity Scotland (EPIC) is working with the Showmen’s Mental Health Awareness Charity (SMHAC) to provide bespoke Mental Health Awareness Training to the Fairground Industry.

In partnership, EPIC and SMHAC designed an online workshop which consists of topics covering:

  • the importance of understanding mental health
  • recognising behaviours which cause concern
  • understanding mental health conditions
  • what we can do to create mentally healthy workplaces.

The aim of this training was to learn about mental health. However, it also prompted meaningful discussions in relation to the Showmen-Traveller community.

This is particularly important given statistics showing that Traveller communities in the UK experience higher levels of poor mental health. Studies suggest Travellers are six times more likely to die by suicide than non-Travellers and 11% of Traveller deaths are accountable to suicides.

This collaboration began with a pilot of three workshops, each two hours long, followed by a period of consultation with participants.

The first session was targeted towards committee members in each section of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain (an organisation that exists to protect the interests of Travelling Showmen in Great Britain).

The second was designated for the attendance of charities and NGO’s working with Showmen (Fair Scotland, Future for Fairgrounds, and the Association of Independent Showmen) and the third, was open to “family firms” and community members.

Zoom call of the Showmen and EPIC mental health awareness workshop
The workshop was delivered online to the Showmen-Traveller community.

EPIC looks forward to continuing our partnership with SMHAC in the future and is excited to continue working with the Showmen community. As one Showman said, the program will, “Give us a space to talk about how we are feeling, cause our Showmen have always thought they needed to be so private.”