A recent study commissioned by Entertainment Assist and conducted by Victoria University has revealed shocking rates of mental health problems within the entertainment industry.
Figures show that the rate of attempted suicide in the industry is more than double the rest of the population. Scarily, it also found that in the past 12 months, workers in the entertainment industry considered taking their own lives almost seven times more than the general population, with that number jumping to nine for road crew members
Entertainment industry workers are 10 times more likely to suffer from anxiety and more prone to suffer from insomnia and sleep disorders with 63% of performers earning less than the national minimum wage of $34,112.
“Sadly, it was pretty much what we expected,” Susan Cooper, general manager of Entertainment Assist told Fairfax. “Anecdotally, we have known there has been a problem forever, but we didn’t have statistics to stand up and take notice. Now the problem cannot be denied.”
In an effort to raise awareness on the matter, Entertainment Assist, a non-profit dedicated to helping those within the entertainment industry, will be hosting a special event called Out From Under, at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne on Monday the 21st of September. Set to feature host Julia Zemiro and artists and presenters iOTA, Daniel MacPherson, Dami Im, Debra Byrne, Silvie Paladino and Michael Cormick, the event will feature performances as well as see members from the industry coming together to discuss the issue.
The proceeds from the event will all go toward Intermission a training and education program Entertainment Assist has set up in the wake of the findings to help people understand more about the problem.
These results follow another study commissioned by Entertainment Assist that we reported on in earlier this year. The new study follows on from that research, delivering hard statistics on the state of mental health and working conditions in the industry.
As today is R U OK Day – world suicide prevention day – the news comes as a timely reminder to us all who work in the creative industries or with friends and family who do that it’s not all free drinks and back-stage passes. More than that, this survey paints a picture of an industry in dire need of support for its workers, lest more of them fall prey to suicide, anxiety and depression.
See below for some of the truly staggering figures to come out of the report (via Fairfax)
– 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 the contributing factors
Source: Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry survey, Victoria University