The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential phone counselling service, available 24/7 to anyone anywhere in Australia who works in the performing arts, music, or other creative industries.
Working in music or the arts can be tough, and COVID-19 continues to greatly impact the entire sector. If you’re struggling, call the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline to speak with a qualified professional for support, counselling or coaching on any aspect of your mental health and wellbeing.
If you or someone you care about is in crisis or at immediate risk, dial 000.
How do I contact the Wellbeing Helpline?
The Wellbeing Helpline is accessible 24/7 by calling 1800 959 500 within Australia. You can also seek counselling via email – simply complete this form.
Who is the Wellbeing Helpline for?
The Wellbeing Helpline is available to anyone who works in the Australian creative industries, including performing arts, music, film and television, and visual arts. You do not have to be currently working to call the Helpline.
Should I contact the Wellbeing Helpline if I work for an organisation that already has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP)?
The Wellbeing Helpline is particularly targeted at those who may not have access to an EAP. The Wellbeing Helpline does not replace an organisational EAP or ongoing professional clinical support. It is strongly recommended that organisations and companies investigate implementing their own EAP. If you do not have access to an EAP, the Wellbeing Helpline is for you.
Who staffs the Wellbeing Helpline?
The Wellbeing Helpline is staffed by experienced clinicians from AccessEAP. All clinical professionals have an average of more than 15 years’ experience. Clinicians are predominantly psychologists, with some specialist social workers and counsellors. All hold full registration and membership with the appropriate accreditation bodies in Australia.
Will the clinicians understand my job and the challenges faced by performing arts workers?
Support Act and our colleagues at the Arts Wellbeing Collective work closely with the clinicians to ensure they have an understanding of the challenges faced by music and performing arts workers, and many of the clinicians have direct experience working in the industry. However, you may still need to explain some aspects of your job. We immensely appreciate your patience if the clinicians are not across every aspect of your work environment.
Can I call about a non-work issue?
Yes. You can call for support, counselling or coaching on any aspect of your mental health and wellbeing. There is diverse experience among the clinicians and specialist support is available for people from:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities
- Culturally and linguistically diverse communities
- LGBTIQA+ communities
And for people experiencing
- Harm from gambling, alcohol and other drugs
- Financial and legal issues
- Relationship issues
- Family violence
- Sexual harassment
If you would like to speak with a clinician of a particular age, gender, religion, race, sexuality, political bias or any other diverse background or experience, please let the team know when you call.
How do I contact the Wellbeing Helpline if I am deaf, hearing or speech impaired?
The clinicians are experienced utilising the National Relay Service – 1800 555 660 or visit relayservice.com.au
You can also submit an online booking at supportact.org.au/wellbeinghelpline and request an Auslan or Deaf / Blind Tactile interpreter, or request to connect with a clinician who signs.
How many times can I call the Wellbeing Helpline?
The Wellbeing Helpline is designed for short-term support. Many people report feeling relieved and ‘helped’ after just one conversation! If you need ongoing support, the clinician will assist you with this.
What will I be asked when I call?
You will be asked your name and a brief description of which part of the creative industries you work for, e.g. music, visual arts, performing arts etc. Some personal details are required for duty of care purposes. You do not need to disclose anything that you are uncomfortable sharing.
Is it confidential?
Yes. Absolute confidentiality is assured, and is in fact mandatory for all clinicians, except where required by law. The clinicians are extremely aware of the importance of confidentiality, and sensitive to both legal and ethical confidentiality requirements.
Support Act receives reporting of pure statistical data that shows how many people accessed the Wellbeing Helpline, and high-level data about themes. No names or personal details are shared in this reporting.
I’m well-known. Will the clinicians be a fan or want gossip?
The clinicians staffing the Wellbeing Helpline care about you as a person. There is no presumption or judgement on your role, background, status or experience – they care about the issues that you experience as a human.
Can I speak with someone face to face?
The Wellbeing Helpline is currently available via phone or video conference.
Can I book a time for someone to call me?
Yes. You will be asked when you call whether you’d prefer to speak to someone then or make an appointment for a more suitable time.
I am a registered psychologist with a special interest in working with performing arts workers. Can I offer my services for the Wellbeing Helpline?
Should I still call if:
I don’t think my problem is big enough?
Yes. No matter what it is – maybe you need advice on managing isolation during the COVID-19 closure period, or how to navigate the ups and downs of work, tips for post-show wind down, strategies for maximising time with family or anything else – big or small, if you feel you could benefit from a conversation with a qualified mental health professional, the Wellbeing Helpline is for you.
I’m not sure professional support is what I need?
That’s ok – this is a great starting place! The clinicians can help point you in the right direction if the Wellbeing Helpline is not what you need right now.
I’ve tried accessing support before and it wasn’t very good. Should I try again?
Yes. Sometimes it takes a while for you to find a connection with a clinician who ‘gets’ you and your experiences, preferences and style. That’s fine and totally normal – we strongly encourage you to keep reaching out until you find someone who feels like a good fit for you.
I have further questions.
Feel free to call the Wellbeing Helpline to ask questions, or contact Support Act on 1300 731 303 (business hours). If you work in the Performing Arts, our colleagues at the Arts Wellbeing Collective can also provide valuable insights.