Out From Under: a benefit in response to some shocking statistics

Australian Entertainment Industry workers attempt suicide more than double the rate of Australia’s general population — 5 – 7 more times. Road crew members contemplate suicide almost nine times more than the general population.

The study also found levels of moderate to severe anxiety 10 times higher and depression five times higher than the general population.

Esther Hannaford. Image by Kurt Sneddon
Esther Hannaford. Image by Kurt Sneddon

These figures, from Entertainment Assist in association with Victoria University, is a reflection of the reality many beloved and hard-working entertainers, crews, and more already know far too well.

General Manager, Entertainment Assist, Susan Cooper said today “Anecdotally all industry workers have stories to tell about their own or someone else’s mental health challenges.

“This research has been critical in understanding the impact the entertainment industry has on its people. Our mission is to champion generational change which would see our industry actively engage in mental health support and suicide prevention.”

Enter Out From Under. On Monday 21st September, stars of the Australian entertainment industry will come together at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne to stage a purposeful production to raise awareness and funds for those in the industry who are living with mental illness.

The night will be hosted by Julia Zemiro and be directed by Kelley Abbey.

Paul Capsis.
Paul Capsis.

Artists and presenters on the night will include iOTA, Daniel MacPherson, Dami Im, Debra Byrne, Silvie Paladino, Michael Cormick, Esther Hannaford, Debra Lawrance, Christie Whelan-Browne, Loren Hunter, Martin Croft, Paul Malek, Rohan Browne, Ben Abrahams, Teagan Wouters, Paul Capsis, Fernando Mira, Aaron Mendoza, Kevin Nugara, Lucy Maunder, Francine Cain, Joe Accaria and Verity Hunt-Ballard.

The evening will also include a very special performance by The Australian Ballet choreographed by Company member Alice Topp. Musical Director for this one-off event will be the acclaimed Chong Lim.

Producer of Out From Under and Managing Director of Matthew Management, Matthew Henderson said: “Watching a friend’s struggle and my inability to help, I decided it was time to begin an open dialogue about the issue of mental health within our industry.”

Funds raised from this event will support Entertainment Assist’s evidence-based training program, Intermission, developed in response to the research findings.

Intermission will train people across all facets of the Entertainment Industry to recognise the signs and symptoms of mental illness and empower them to have conversations, encourage and support people to get help.

The full research report is available from Entertainment Assist’s website: www.entertainmentassist.org.au. For tickets to Out From Under, visit www.ticketek.com.au or 132 849.

If you or someone you know is needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit the website.

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and is the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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