Entertainment Assist's research project was conducted in association with a research team at the College of Arts, Victoria University. This world-first research will help shape a future response to mental health for entertainment industry workers.
The Phase One research involved industry interviews with dancers, musicians, actors, comedians, circus performers, TV & radio presenters, roadies, directors, technicians and backstage workers. For the purposes of reporting, these were grouped into three categories:
Reduce and prevent mental health issues in the entertainment industry
- Performing artists
- Industry support workers (eg directors, producers, stage managers)
- Technicians and crew
Key findings from Phase One included:
- 25% of performing artists, and most roadies have attempted or considered suicide, but none of the roadies surveyed had sought help
- over a third of performing artists, 25% of industry support workers and most roadies and crew reported mental health problems
- extensive mental health issues across the broad spectrum of the industry often as a result of bullying, sexual abuse, long and unrewarding working hours and a lack of appreciation for years of commitment
- Entertainment industry workers do not know how to seek support, nor do they know how to talk about mental health with colleagues/peers they may be concerned about performing artists live much shorter lives, on average, than the rest of working community
Phase Two, the quantitative phase of the research involved an online survey with 2904 respondents providing 488,000 data points from a full cross section of industry workers with collectively over 30,000 years’ experience.
The Phase Two findings present a concerning picture about the health and wellbeing for those working in the Australian Entertainment Industry.
- Suicide attempts for Australian Entertainment Industry workers are more than double that of the general population.
- The levels of moderate to severe anxiety symptoms are 10 times higher than in the general population.
- The levels of depression symptoms are five times higher than in the general population.
- In the last twelve months Australian Entertainment Industry Workers experienced suicide ideation 5-7 times more than the general population and 2-3 times more over a lifetime.
- In the last twelve months Road Crew members experienced suicide ideation almost 9 times more than the general population.
- Rates of suicide ideation, planning and attempts are extremely high and indicate a need for early intervention programs tailored to the industry.