Entertainment Assist has responded to the increasing demand for mental health and wellbeing support from members of the Australian entertainment industry with the release of additional mental health webinars.
The free webinars have been specifically produced for the industry as an online tool to ensure support is available to everyone, including those in regional and remote areas. This is an expansion of the Intermission training programs and information session provided prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The ongoing challenges being faced by the industry, particularly in Victoria, have resulted in an increasing demand for support and these webinars are designed to provide immediate practical support as well as being educational. The unpredictability around a return to work has increased the need for support and while these are specific for the entertainment industry, they are suitable for anyone who may need assistance,” said Julia Edwards, General Manager of Entertainment Assist.
The webinars are more extensive than the short videos developed for the industry in late March which covered important urgent mental health and wellbeing support around finance, sleep, healthy habits and staying connected.
The new webinars are designed to assist individuals to better understand mental health, to identify common mental health challenges, ways to have effective conversations, effective self-care strategies, peer to peer management tools and where to seek professional support. The webinars focus on three key issues being faced by many during these uncertain times.
- Managing Boundaries – The duty of care to ourselves and others
- Uncertainty – Focusing our energy during uncertainty
- Grief & Loss – How we react to changes in our lives
“These webinars have been developed with professionals who understand the Australian Entertainment Industry and the topics are focused on taking care of ourselves while also understanding how we can identify issues in others and provide support to friends, family and colleagues during such uncertain times,” Julia said.
An estimated half a million people across the industry have been affected by the crisis. Research conducted in conjunction with Victoria University in 2016 indicates that isolation is a major issue for many in the industry, highlighting the need for support during these very difficult times in an industry in which people are five times more likely to suffer depression than the general population.
“The Entertainment Industry has been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and there is still enormous uncertainty about the future. It continues to be extremely tough for everyone in the industry, even more so for those in Victoria,” said Julia.
The number of people who have already reached out for support during the pandemic confirms that many have been overwhelmed by what has happened to the industry.
“People in the industry, including those behind the scenes, are incredibly passionate for their creative work. The privilege to interact with the audience, the joy of storytelling, the commitment to produce a high quality show which ‘moves’ the audience, the pride in creating a mood with lights, every role is an extension of the creative life of these people. The creative life which has been taken away by the pandemic and cannot be easily replaced,” Julia added.
The free mental health webinar series is available at www.entertainmentassist.org.au/mental-health-webinars
Entertainment Assist is a national health promotion charity supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the Australian Entertainment Industry. Working with peak bodies, industry leaders, organisations, educators and individuals, our resources are directed towards continued research and education.