Arts Centre Melbourne has announced the launch of a new 24/7 wellbeing hotline for performing arts practitioners, part of its suite of mental health and wellbeing initiatives tailored for people working in the performing arts.

Arts Wellbeing CollectivePhoto © John Gollings

The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline, launched as a pilot program, is the result of a partnership with Support Act – a music charity that provides crisis relief and wellbeing support services to artists, roadies and music workers – and provides a free and confidential phone service targeted particularly at those who may not have access to professional support, such as independent theatre makers and people working in small to medium arts organisations.

“This much needed helpline is staffed by qualified clinicians who have an understanding of the performing arts sector. We recognise that our community faces particular challenges and stresses from the unique nature of our work, which can include being curtain ready under pressure and the demands of touring and its effect on mental health and wellbeing when away from routine, family and friends,” said Arts Centre Melbourne Chief Executive Claire Spencer. “Whether a person is in production, performance, or arts management, a life working in the performing arts can be challenging and at times stressful. The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline will offer a free and confidential phone service to any person who would not ordinarily be able to access this type of service – particularly those who work in our thriving independent and small to medium sector. We’re immensely grateful to our partners, Support Act and WorkSafe Victoria through the WorkWell program, for making this available to the wider performing arts community.”

“It is a great resource for anyone who works in music, and now the performing arts, to access if they are concerned about any aspect of their mental health or wellbeing,” Support Act Chief Executive Clive Miller said. “The Helpline provides a wide range of counselling support from depression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal feelings through to loneliness, relationship breakdown, financial worries, illness and workplace conflict. We hope it becomes a widely used resource for people working in the performing arts.”

The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline can be accessed 24/7 on 1800 959 500 within Australia

More information about The Arts Wellbeing Collective