World first research exposes alarming findings regarding the mental health of Australian entertainment industry workers.

Entertainment Assist and Victoria University have today released a report exposing serious health and wellbeing concerns for people working in the Australian entertainment industry.

While industry professionals love their work, and are passionately committed to their creativity, the Report found that many have difficulty coping with competitive, toxic work environments, while long, anti-social working hours and low incomes also take a toll.

The report, titled Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry: Final Report found that suicide attempts are more than double the general population, while members of road crews contemplated suicide almost nine times more than the general population over the last year. Indicators of moderate to severe anxiety are 10 times higher, while symptoms of depression are five times that of the general population.

With 43.1 percent of entertainment industry employees working in the evenings and 41.9 percent working weekends, sleep disorders are high. The report found that 44 percent of entertainment industry workers don’t get enough sleep, and suffer sleep disorders at a rate seven times higher than the general population.

Low income levels are also a factor with 35 percent of all industry workers earning less than $20,000 a year. Meanwhile, as many as 63 percent of performers, 28 percent of support workers and 20 percent of technicians/crew earn less than the Australian minimum wage of $34,112. Many also reported toxic work environments where they have to deal with competition, bullying, sexual assault, sexism and racism.

The Report follows in-depth interviews with 36 professionals followed by an online survey of 2904 entertainment workers across all sectors of the industry: performers, producers, sound and lighting technicians, roadies and crew.

“These findings strongly suggest the entertainment and cultural industry is in severe distress, and in urgent need of early prevention and intervention programmes to reduce the impacts of those with health and wellbeing problems and to prevent new occurrences,” said Professor Adrian Fisher, Head of Psychology, College of Arts, Victoria University.

The Report offers a number of key recommendations to address the alarming findings, and address the health and wellbeing of Australia’s entertainment industry workers.

Entertainment Assist is a health promotion charity established to raise awareness about mental health in the Australian Entertainment Industry. It will use the findings of the Report to advocate for generational change. This will include “the provision of tailored mental health training, educating industry workers to take care of self and support their peers, and encouraging industry employers to actively support the mental health and wellbeing of employees.”

The full report, with detailed analysis, can be found HERE