Study highlights high prevalence of mental ill-health in live performance industry

Study highlights high prevalence of mental ill-health in live performance industry

As part of its commitment to beyondblue’s Heads Up campaign and today’s R U OK Day, Live Performance Australia (LPA) is highlighting the alarming findings from a recent study that found the rate of mental illness and attempted suicide in the live performance industry is more than double the rest of the Australian population.

The study, Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry: Phase 2 conducted by Entertainment Assist and Victoria University, surveyed 2,900 people within the live performance industry, ranging from singers and actors to roadies and riggers.

The figures highlight an alarming trend of mental illness among the live performance industry. As an industry, we must break down the stigma associated with mental ill-health and understand it is not a weakness by working together to prioritise a mentally healthy workplace.

LPA is encouraging all Members to make mental health in the workplace a priority by supporting beyondblue’s Heads Up campaign.

How to make your workplace mentally healthy

1.      Identify priority areas of action

An important first step is to understand the specific issues within your workplace and identify priority areas of action. Heads Up helps you to create a free tailored action plan based on your business needs.

2.      Implement actions

Actions to create a more mentally healthy workplace will be based on the specific goals and priority areas outlined in your action plan but can include:

  • Raising awareness
  • Reduce stigma
  • Support individuals
  • Promote positive job roles and working environments.

3.     Review outcomes

By reviewing your progress and approach, you will be able to see how you are tracking and measure the effectiveness of your initiatives.

The Heads Up website includes a range of valuable resources for employers at every level from businesses of every size.

Key survey findings:

  • 63% of performers earn less than the National Minimum Wage of $34,112
  • 10% of professional singers have attempted suicide
  • 59.5% of entertainment industry workers have sought help for mental health issues
  • 40% of performers have been diagnosed with a mental illness
  • 36% of roadies reported ‘suicide ideation’ in their lifetime
  • Lack of sleep, low pay, drug and alcohol abuse are the contributing factors

LPA is also supporting Out From Under, a concert to raise awareness of the mental health issues confronting the live performance industry. Out From Under will be held on Monday September 21 at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. The show will be hosted by Julia Zemiro and directed by Kelley Abbey, with confirmed artists and presenters including iOTA, Daniel MacPherson, Dami Im, Debra Byrne, Silvie Paladino, and Michael Cormick.

LPA’s involvement in the Heads Up campaign is supported by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) as part of its commitment to achieving mentally healthy workplaces.