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Support Act launches new Wellbeing Helpline

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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AFEM launches sexual harassment support service

The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) has announced the launch of a confidential support service for victims of sexual harassment in the electronic music business.

The service, delivered by employee wellbeing specialist Health Assured, will provide advice and guidance to those affected by workplace harassment, and forms part of AFEM’s mission to “drive positive change in the industry” throughout 2018 and beyond. It will be followed by a code of conduct launching early next year.

“Since its formation, AFEM has championed equality and inclusion as vital foundations of our industry, and we unequivocally condemn sexual abuse and harassment of any kind,” says AFEM CEO Mark Lawrence. “To step forward as a victim of abuse or harassment takes immense courage and we will support all who need help and guidance.

“We are working with our 150-plus members on how to unite as an industry against all forms of abuse, and AFEM directs anyone who has been affected by abuse or harassment to an industry specific and confidential service operated by Health Assured, on +44 (0)800 030 5182, where trained experts will listen and support.

“This is a pivotal moment for society, industry and inclusivity and we must ensure that every opportunity is taken to support all victims. It is time to build a safe and supportive environment for everyone whatever their gender, ethnicity, sexual preference and age.”

“Setting up this confidential helpline is an important first step during this watershed post-Weinstein moment for society”

AFEM is a global trade body for the electronic music genre. Its members include Live Nation, CAA, Three Six Zero, Red Light Management and Defected Records.

DJ, producer and label owner Anja Schneider comments: “While I’ve been lucky enough not to have had problems with sexual harassment throughout my career, I know the experiences of other females working in the music industry has been very different. This behaviour has become normalised over the years and needs to be called out at every opportunity. No form of sexual harassment or abuse is ever OK.

“We need to be vocal and stand as one, both women and men, to send the message this is not acceptable – and also, very importantly, ensure the guilty perpetrators are held responsible for their actions. The time to stand up is now.”

“There is no level of sexual harassment, assault or misconduct that we shouldn’t be outraged about,” says says DJ, promoter and label boss Nicole Moudaber. “Women were made to feel throughout history that this behaviour is normal – well, not anymore.”

Carl Loben, the editor of DJ Mag, adds: “There should be no place for sexual abuse or harassment in the music industry. For too long, predatory men in positions of power have got away with it. Well, no longer.

“Setting up this confidential helpline for victims of sexual abuse in electronic music is an important first step during this watershed post-Weinstein moment for society, when the #MeToo campaign has given many women the confidence to speak out. We all need to work together to end this abuse forever.”


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