Caring for the creative wellbeing

Caring for the creative wellbeing

Arts Centre Melbourne announced the launch of a new pilot program last month aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of those working within the creative industries.

As part of its suite of mental health and wellbeing initiatives, the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline was launched in Southbank on July 18; a new support service tailored to those who work in the performing arts.

Partnering with music charity Support Act to provide a free and confidential wellbeing phone service, the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is particularly targeted at those who may not have access to professional support such as independent theatre makers and those working in small to medium arts organisations.

It is also especially targeted at those for whom and employee assistance program (EAP) is cost prohibitive, though the Wellbeing Helpline does not replace an organisational EAP or ongoing professional clinical support.

Arts Centre Melbourne CEO Claire Spencer said that she was “absolutely thrilled” that the service would be made available to those who worked in the performing arts industry.

“This much needed helpline is staffed by qualified clinicians who understand the performing arts sector,” Ms Spencer said. “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.”

“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 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.”

Support Act CEO Clive Miller said that it was delighted to be partnering with Arts Centre Melbourne and Worksafe on the program.

“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,” Mr 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 hours, seven days a week on 1800 959 500 within Australia. For more information about The Arts Wellbeing Collective visit

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