The Arts Wellbeing Collective Supporting Mental Health In The Arts

Posted 25 July 2019

The Arts Wellbeing Collective Supporting Mental Health In The Arts

Discussing Mental Health support for the arts and how individuals can be in contact with helplines being just a phone call away.

Richard Watts Article from Arts Hub published on the 19th of July.

The Arts Wellbeing Collective have recently developed a helpline directed at the performing arts sector providing access to mental help support.

The free, confidential telephone service staffed by mental health professionals operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, it can be accessed by anyone in the performing arts sector who needs to discuss their mental health – from anxiety and substance abuse issues, to workplace tensions and the loneliness that sometimes comes with being on tour.

‘The Helpline has been created in response to what we believe is a really solid need across the sector. It is absolutely confidential, and is available to anyone who works in the Australian performing arts industry,’ said Claire Spencer, CEO, Arts Centre Melbourne.

Image Courtesy of ArtsHub, Claire Spencer, launch of the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, Photo Credit: Mark Gambino

‘I would really encourage people, if they feel that a conversation with a professional clinician who really understands the challenges of our industry is going to be of assistance to them, to please, please call.’

The clinicians staffing the Helpline have practical insights into the arts sector’s specific needs and challenges, Spencer continued.

Image Courtesy: ArtsHub, Shutterstock

‘The Arts Wellbeing Collective team has worked really closely with these clinicians to ensure that they have an understanding of the very unique challenges that are faced by performing arts workers. We’ve also tried to source experienced clinicians that have actually had experience of working in the industry as well, because it is a funny old industry, as we all know,’ she said.

‘The usual advice you get around early nights and healthy diets and spending more time with friends and family – we know that can’t always be applied in the performing arts. So to have a team of experts who have a deep understanding of that, and to make sure that people are really being heard by a professional who understands the particular issues they are facing – that’s the really exciting thing about this.’

Already operating, and managed by music charity Support Act, the expansion of the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline pilot program to include everyone in the performing arts sector is a logical next step for The Arts Wellbeing Collective, an Arts Centre Melbourne initiative comprised of a consortium of arts and cultural organisations and established in 2016.

The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days per year by calling 1800 959 500 within Australia. Skype sessions are also available.

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