The free, confidential 24/7 helpline will provide sector-wide support for the next 12 months in order to help address the mental health challenges of COVID-19.
A free, confidential service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline is staffed by professional clinicians who are familiar with the unique challenges faced by people working in the arts sector.
Initially created for people in the contemporary music sector and later expanded to include the performing arts, the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline has now expanded its reach again to assist all artists and arts workers across Australia, including the screen and music sectors.
The 12-month expansion of this essential service has been made possible thanks to the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts.
The Wellbeing Helpline can be accessed by calling 1800 959 500 within Australia, or via email. Zoom video calls are also available.
Support Act Chief Executive Clive Miller said he was thrilled to see the reach and scope of the Helpline expanded to include the wider arts community during this challenging time.
‘COVID-19 is clearly having a huge impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people across the entire arts sector, with many people struggling as a result of financial hardship, concern about careers, being cut off from social networks and working from home,’ he explained.
‘Our clinicians can provide support in all these areas and more, and we encourage any music or arts worker who is concerned about their mental health to call the Helpline on 1800 959 500.’
Support Act launched the Wellbeing Helpline in June 2018 with support from The Tony Foundation and Levi’s. The organisation subsequently partnered with the Arts Centre Melbourne’s Arts Wellbeing Collective to extend access to all performing arts workers in July 2019.
Read: Mental health support for the arts now just a phone call away
The Wellbeing Helpline is delivered in partnership with AccessEAP, a leading not-for-profit Employee Assistance Program provider with close to 30 years’ experience in mental health and workplace wellbeing.
Ben Steel, writer and director of the documentary, The Show Must Go On, has firsthand experience of the Helpline and its benefits.
‘I have used the Helpline and it really helped me at the time deal with some flat feelings after a project came to an end. It was a relief to speak with a trained clinician who could understand my creative world and provide thoughtful and relevant advice at a convenient time to my busy schedule. I know screen actors and our friends across all of arts and entertainment will benefit from having access to this incredible industry Helpline,’ he said.
Visit Support Act to learn more about the Wellbeing Helpline and to access support.