Mental Health and wellbeing in music and live performing arts

Authored by:

Aurora Elmes

Status: Completed May 2022

The last two years have been significantly challenging for those who work in music and the live performing arts sectors. These services have been among the most affected industries in terms of job losses in the wake of COVID-19, and the flow on impacts including financial insecurity and reported worsening of mental health.

To understand more about how people working in music and live performing arts are faring two years on, music industry charity Support Act partnered with the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne to conduct new research on this topic. Just over 1,300 people who work professionally in the sector took part in the research survey.

The research aimed to:

  • Provide an updated picture into the mental health and wellbeing of people working in the music and live performing arts sector in Australia, including the factors that are currently impacting people's work and lives (including COVID-19).
  • Identify the kinds of supports or services that are making a difference or may be needed.

Research findings:

The research findings revealed that a high proportion of people working in music and live performing arts are currently experiencing high or very high levels of psychological distress, more than four times the average population. The mental health toll from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated job and income losses continues to be felt, with people experiencing anxiety and depression at rates of more than double that of the general population.

The report also highlights the continued financial, employment and social supports that are needed to help people deal with the ongoing effect of the pandemic on their lives and livelihoods.

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