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New mental health helpline launched for music industry

Australia’s leading music industry charity has opened the new Wellbeing Helpline to aid the industry most at risk of suicide and anxiety

Australia’s only charity dedicated to people in the music industry has announced a new Wellbeing Helpline to support musicians with mental health concerns.

Support Act has launched its own mental health line to tackle the rising mental health issues in the music industry. The helpline is covering several areas of mental health, including depression, anxiety and suicide.

CEO of Support Act, Clive Miller, said the service is a response to colleagues who work in the music industry who have reported the need for an improvement into the overall health and wellbeing of Australia’s musicians.

Miller added: “Based on our consultations and research, we believe that a specialised service specifically tailored to the unique challenges faced by artists and music workers will be of enormous benefit to all people working in our industry.”

According to the ‘Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry’ survey by Victoria University, 59.5 per cent of the music industry have sought help for mental illnesses. Almost half have been diagnosed and 10 per cent have attempted suicide.

The 2015 survey also found that suicide attempts in the entertainment industry were happening twice as much as the rest of the population and that those in the industry are 10 times more likely to suffer from anxiety.

Executive Officer at The Tony Foundation, Emily Albert, said: “We have gone from initial conversations at the BIGSOUND mental Health Summit last September around how to best support wellbeing in the music industry, to the helpline being made available.

“Alberts is delighted to have been able to contribute to enabling this vision to become a reality and to making this much needed service available to people working across the music industry in Australia.”

The free and confidential helpline is being funded by Albert’s The Tony Foundation and Levi Strauss Australia. The service will offer urgent support for people who may be at risk to themselves and others and is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The helpline is supported by AccessEAP, a leading not-for-profit Employee Assistance Program provider with experience in mental health and workplace wellbeing.

Marketing Manager of Levi Strauss Australia & New Zealand, Nicky Rowsell, said the helpline is a critical first step “in a longer journey.”

“If this can work to help save lives – then I think we all need to make it a priority to protect the future of the music industry itself.”

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