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Charity Support Act unveils its new Wellbeing Helpline to help combat mental illness in the music industry
By Jamie Raybould on 19 Jun 2018
Music industry charity, Support Act, has announced the launch of its Wellbeing Helpline. The free, 24-hour-a-day service is available for anybody in Australian music to use. On the other end of the phone will be professional counsellors giving help in all areas of mental illness, addiction and suicidal ideation, as well as issues related to mental health, such as workplace conflict, loneliness and financial worries.
The helpline is being funded with help from Alberts’ The Tony Foundation and Levi Strauss Australia. Support Act have previously worked with mental health issues in the roadie section of the industry, in their joint venture with ARCA.
There is a similar helpline for musicians based in New Zealand, which was found to have a suicide rate twice that of the normal population.
CEO of Support act, Clive Miller comments: “The launch of this service is in direct response to requests from our colleagues working in music to help improve overall mental health and wellbeing.
“Based on our consultations and research, we believe that a specialised service specifically tailored to the unique challenges faced by artists and music workers will be of enormous benefit to all people working in our industry.”
“We look forward to continuing to work with SUPPORT ACT on breaking down stigma and raising awareness around mental health.”
“We are thrilled to see this idea brought to fruition in less than 12 months under the dynamic leadership of Jo Cave and the team at Support Act,” says Emily Albert, executive officer at the Tony Foundation. “We have gone from initial conversations at the Bigsound mental health summit last September around how to best support wellbeing in the music industry, to the helpline being made available this week.
“Alberts is delighted to have been able to contribute to enabling this vision to become a reality and to making this much needed service available to people working across the music industry in Australia.”
Nicky Rowsell, marketing manager of Levi Strauss Australia & New Zealand, adds: “Levi’s is proud to be a part of such an important initiative that will see our local musicians and music industry workers receive Australia’s first mental health and well-being help line.
“This is a critical first step in a longer journey that Levi’s is heavily invested in: to really give back to the music (and wider) creative community in a meaningful way that we hope will make a real difference.
“We look forward to continuing to work with Support Act on breaking down stigma and raising awareness around mental health. If this work can help to save lives – then I think we all need to make it a priority to protect the future of the music industry itself.”
To access the helpline, please call 1800 959 500 within Australia, or click here to go to the Support Act homepage.
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