Study Shines a Spotlight on Darkness in the Entertainment Industry

Study Shines a Spotlight on Darkness in the Entertainment Industry (downloadable pdf) by Mark Hawthorne for The Age, Australia. A frank discussion of depression and suicide within the arts and entertainment world, including statistics culled by the Victoria University in Australia. 


With funding from the Pratt Foundation, Entertainment Assist commissioned Victoria University to conduct the largest survey of industry workers undertaken anywhere in the world. The results of that survey of 2900 people, ranging from singers and actors to roadies and riggers, found that the rate of attempted suicide in the industry is more than double the rest of the population. In the past 12 months, workers in the entertainment industry considered taking their own lives almost seven times more than the general population.

Almost one in every 14 performers surveyed admitted to making an attempt on their life. For roadies and technicians, the figures were even more troubling, at almost one in 12. That compares with roughly one on 30 for the wider Australian population.

“Sadly, it was pretty much what we expected,” says Susan Cooper, general manager of Entertainment Assist. “Anecdotally, we have known there has been a problem forever, but we didn’t have statistics to stand up and take notice. Now the problem cannot be denied.”

According to the survey, more than 40 per cent of Australian performers have been diagnosed with mental illness, with the most common being depression and anxiety.

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