What I do

My philosophy

I aim to teach, create, and implement evidence-based programs which facilitate the well-being, mental health, safety, and performance of circus artists through-out their life span. I encourage the development of relevant psychological skills and knowledge which will empower circus artists to happily, confidently, and safely pursue their ambitions. I support circus artists during all stages of their careers, from the moment they make the decision to pursue a career under the big top, to after retirement from circus.

Scientific research and student supervision

I am based at Murdoch University (Australia), where I conduct applied, scientific, circus research. I am particularly interested in the well-being, mental health, and safety of circus artists. I design and lead my own research projects, and collaborate with industry partners (both in circus and sport).  I also supervise psychology and exercise science research students (honours, masters, and PhD level).  If you would like to collaborate or study with me, please contact me. For more information about my research, click here.

Fleur in lyra
Picture by Jealous by Nature

Mental Health First Aid

I am a Mental Health First Aid Australia accredited mental health first aid instructor. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) teaches you how to assist people who are developing a mental health problem, experiencing a worsening of an existing mental health problem or in a mental health crisis, until appropriate professional help is received or the crisis resolves. I believe MHFA is important for everybody, but particularly relevant to the circus industry to support the mental health of travelling circus artists as they are unlikely to have access to consistent mental health care. Also, circus coaches are likely to work with students with mental health problems, and it is important that these coaches know what to do when they suspect a student might be suffering from a mental health problem. On request, I provide the accredited MHFA course to professionals in the circus and performing arts industry, sports industry, and to university students. Please contact me if you would like to learn more.

Industry consultations, presentations, seminars and workshops

On request, I provide consultations to the circus industry. I am also available for presentations, seminars and workshops. Topics I cover are artist well-being, mental health, safety, and performance. My practical sessions provide professionals with an evidence base to create an environment in which artist can thrive. This enhances the career longevity of the artists. Please contact me if you would like to learn more.

Therapy

I currently do NOT provide therapy to circus artists and athletes who struggle with mental health issues (such as depression, disordered eating, and anxiety disorders).

If you are experiencing mental health problems, I encourage you to seek immediate support by a licensed professional. If you are unsure where to find support, perhaps because you are working abroad; your first point of contact is your doctor (e.g., general practitioner). The GP can confidentially refer you to a licensed psychologist. If you do not have access to a doctor, your physiotherapist is also part of the healthcare system and will be able to help you get access to appropriate support. If you, or someone you know, requires urgent psychological support, please contact one of the numbers listed below:

  • Australia: contact Beyondblue by calling 1300 22 4636, or call Lifeline 13 11 14 
  • United States of America: contact Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255, visiting suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or texting MHA to 741741 
  • Canada: contact CMHA by calling 1-833-456-4566 or in QC 1-866-277-3553, or refer to https://ementalhealth.ca 
  • United Kingdom: contact Samaritans by calling 116 123, or Hopeline UK via 0800 068 4141
  • If you are in any other part of the world, please refer to yourlifecounts.org.