(3 September 2020): Support Act is pleased to announce the establishment of the First Nations Dedicated Support Line, a free and confidential service specifically catered to First Nations music and arts workers who are concerned about any aspect of their mental health and wellbeing.

The First Nations Dedicated Support Line is available 24/7, 365 days a year by calling 1800 861 085.

“We recognise the importance of First Nations music and arts workers being able to speak with an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander clinician or one with cultural awareness training, who has experience with individuals and families, and who understands the challenges First Nations music and arts workers may face,” said Cerisa Grant, First Nations Community Engagement / Social Worker for Support Act. “Together, the counsellor will create a culturally safe space for First Nations music and arts workers to express feelings of anxiety, depression, substance use, finance issues, and any other worries they may have.”

Cerisa highlighted current statistics on First Nations Mental Health and why it is important to seek support

“The indigenous suicide rate was double that of the general population in 2015,” she said. ”Indigenous suicide increased from 5% of Australia’s total suicide in 1991 to 50% in 2010, despite First Nations people only making up 3% of the Australian population. This is an alarming rate for First Nations People. We hope that more First Nations music and arts workers will seek support in a culturally safe environment and make use of the Dedicated Support Line as a way of processing past injustices and the effects of intergenerational trauma.”

The First Nations Support Line is delivered in partnership with AccessEAP with funding provided by the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts.

Remember: If you, or someone you care about, is in crisis or at immediate risk dial 000 now.

Support Act would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to the 500 First Nations tribes in Australia today, the traditional custodians of the land, their elders past, present and future. Support Act would also like to acknowledge that sovereignty was never ceded and understand that each tribe has different cultural beliefs. We welcome and support all First Nations People