An alarming report by Australian industry group Entertainment Assist painted a stark picture of mental health in the concert and live entertainment community.
According to the report, Aussie concert professionals are three times more likely to seriously consider suicide and twice as likely to attempt suicide as the general public. Severe anxiety is ten times more likely in the entertainment industry than it is in the general population, and depression is five times more likely.
The implications of the report are alarming both for Australia and North America and pull the veil back on a taboo topic that’s rarely addressed in trade magazines or industry conferences. Suicide and depression are particularly high among road crews and mid-level professionals who face irregular work patterns which often lead to long-term insomnia and low pay, often without medical benefits or retirement contributions.
According to the report “44% of the respondents agree they don’t get enough sleep, and 45.5% have disrupted sleep. This suggests those in the Entertainment Industry suffer sleep disorders seven times greater than the general population.”
The report also found that “57.9% had problems finding time for their families, 63% had trouble maintaining a social life, and 45% had trouble keeping contact with their friends in the industry.”
“Within the arts and entertainment industry, there is a growing concern and set of investigations into anxiety, especially performance anxiety, where the context of work behaviour becomes so negative that people are no longer able to function either at the optimal level – or sometimes at all,” the report reads.
Entertainment professionals were twice as likely to binge drink than the general population, four times more likely to smoke pot, nine times more likely to abuse prescription drugs and 12 times more likely to use cocaine.
Besides the long hours and exposure to easily available drugs, the reports blames uncertainty about income and work for the sky-high depression rates and found that a road crew worker is nine times more likely than the general public to kill themselves.
Are mental health problem ticking time bomb for our industry? Is this lifestyle worth the consequences? Yes, working in the music industry is incredible, but at what cost? Click the link below to read the report and stay tuned to Amplify as we explore this topic more in-depth.