News August 6, 2019

Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline marks first anniversary

Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline marks first anniversary

Ltd’s Wellbeing Helpline celebrates its first year of operation – and with some encouraging statistics.

The free, confidential phone counselling service has been used by 150 artists, road crew and music workers from all genres to talk about any aspect of their mental health or wellbeing.

They utilised close to 400 counselling hours, according to Support Act.

The breakdown by sector is 74% artists, 14% music workers and 12% crew. 54% of helpline users were aged under 35 years and just over half are female.

“We are very happy with the take up rate, and the feedback from service users has been extremely positive,” said Clive Miller, Sydney-based CEO of Support Act.

“Having a dedicated helpline that is staffed by friendly, qualified clinicians who understand the challenges of working in the music industry can be an enormous help to someone who is struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal feelings; or issues which can be mental health related such as loneliness, relationship breakdown, financial worries, illness and workplace conflict.”

Career concerns head the list of reasons that people from the music industry have been calling the helpline.

It was followed by anxiety, depression and other personal issues.

The helpline has also provided support in relation to financial and relationship issues, stress management, health and substance use.

It has been well documented that people in the music and creative industries experience symptoms of moderate to severe anxiety and depression at rates that can be 5—10 times higher than the general population.

This has led to the development of a new pilot program, launched on July 18, that extends access to the Wellbeing Helpline to all performing arts workers throughout Australia.

The pilot is implemented in partnership with Arts Centre Melbourne’s Arts Wellbeing Collective, which promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in the performing arts.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Support Act on this project,” said Claire Spencer, CEO Arts Centre Melbourne.

“People in the performing arts experience many of the same mental health challenges as people in the music industry, so it makes sense for us to be directing our resources in support of the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, as another tool to help ensure that performing arts workers are well equipped to manage the unique environment of this profession.”

The Helpline is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days per year by calling 1800 959 500 within Australia.

You can also email Support Act and a clinician will call you back.

The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is made possible through support from Alberts’ The Tony Foundation and Levi Strauss Australia.

The Arts Wellbeing Collective receives funding from WorkSafe Victoria’s Mental Health Improvement Fund, which aims to make mental health and wellbeing a priority in the workplace.

The Helpline is implemented by AccessEAP, a leading not-for-profit Employee Assistance Program provider with close to 30 years’ experience in mental health and workplace wellbeing.

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