Entertainment Assist Farewells General Manager
Entertainment Assist inaugural General Manager, Susan Cooper, is stepping down after nine years with the organisation, effective 31 August 2018.
During her time at Entertainment Assist, Susan orchestrated a world-first industry wide research project that revealed shocking facts about the wellbeing of Australia’s entertainment industry people compared to the general population - suicide attempts are more than double, moderate to severe anxiety is 10 times higher, and depression 5 times higher. Her work has raised awareness of the psychological risk of working in the entertainment industry. The Research has inspired national and international organisations, individuals and educational institutions to conduct further studies and develop industry specific wellness programs to effect systemic change.
A passionate advocate for the wellbeing of industry professionals, last year Susan guided the formation of the Australian Alliance for Wellness in Entertainment, an Entertainment Assist cross-sector peer-to-peer initiative, for shared interest in positive mental health and wellbeing behaviours for a sustainable Australian entertainment industry. The Wellness Alliance was formed in collaboration with the industry’s peak bodies and sector representatives.
She was also integral in having the mental health of the entertainment industry recognised in the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Sustainability of Australia’s Film & Television Industry. The Inquiry’s final report, published in Dec 2017, recognised our industry people are in distress. With most of our workforce consisting of freelancers and thus small business owners, the report recommended the Minister for Small Business consult with our industry to address the issues.
Other accomplishments include the development of Entertainment Assist’s mental health training program, Intermission, and her tireless role delivering mental health information sessions to industry workplaces, educational institutions and industry conferences.
Whilst the door is open for future involvement with Entertainment Assist, Susan is taking her own advice and will have some time out to look after her own wellbeing.
David G Mann AM