At long last we’re moving past the myth of the “Struggling Artist”. Recent evidence-based research paints a compelling picture: industry conditions (over and above individual predisposition) predict a downward trajectory in the mental health of arts workers, but group-based and/or individual psychotherapeutic interventions can help (an aside: for comprehensive statistics or resources for mental health issues in the performing arts, visit artswellbeingcollective.com.au).
Arts Wellbeing Collective. Photo © John Gollings
I’ve supported AWC since the 2017 pilot program and seeing the appetite from arts folks for positive change and psychological interventions to support one another is awe inspiring. What makes AWC extraordinary is it is created by industry for industry, with help from mental health experts with an arts background. Alongside tools for arts workers – whether they’re going on tour or looking to de-stress, or gen up on mental health and first aid training – there’s now a 24/7 free-of-charge mental health helpline. Amazing stuff!
Whilst I’m not delving into the statistics here, allow me to outline some common barriers arts workers face in seeking mental health support: poor job security, low income, uncertain job prospects, variable hours, shift work, social...