Support Act Wellbeing Helplines
Support Act Helplines
The Wellbeing Helpline is available to anyone who works in the Australian creative industries, including performing arts, music, film and television, visual arts and more.
The First Nations Dedicated Support Line is available to all First Nations music and arts workers.
The Manager Support Hotline is available for all arts leaders and people managers who may need assistance when supporting performing arts workers.
You do not have to be currently working to call the Helplines.
All three Helplines are accessible at any time of the day or night, every day of the year, anywhere in Australia. You can choose whether to speak with a counsellor on the day of calling the Helpline, or whether to make an appointment.
Wellbeing Helpline free call 1800 959 500. You can also seek counselling via email – simply complete this form.
First Nations Dedicated Support Line free call 1800 959 500 and select Option 3.
Manager Support Hotline free call 1800 818 728. You can also get in touch via email to arrange a consultation, or phone the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline number (1800 959 500) and ask for “Manager Support”.
The clinicians are experienced utilising the National Relay Service, free call 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.
The Helplines are 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 Helpline staff hold full registration and membership with the appropriate accreditation bodies in Australia.
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
The First Nations Dedicated Support Line is staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Clinicians and by other clinicians with cultural awareness training, as well as experience with individuals and families, and understanding of the challenges you may face. A referral to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services can also be arranged by calling the Helpline.
The Manager Support Hotline is an additional service offered as part of the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline specifically tailored to support managers working across the performing arts industry and to provide individual coaching to you in your role as a manager.
The reasons that arts managers may choose to contact the Hotline are varied. Some common examples include:
– Supporting a team member who is experiencing mental health problems
– Having conversations about performance issues
– Sharing difficult news with a team member
– Dealing with an organisational change process
– Supporting a team member impacted by grief or loss
– Managing the impact of a traumatic event
– Navigating team conflict
– Managing allegations of workplace bullying and/or harassment
A senior counsellor will discuss approaches and strategies to help you manage workplaces issues, taking into account factors including:
– The unique or specific context of the work environment
– Steps already taken by the manager/team leader to address the issues
– Duty of care to the music or arts worker and potential risks to the organisation
– Best practice guidelines for managing the music or arts workers’ wellbeing
– Common behavioural patterns based on current psychological evidence
– The needs of both the organisation and the individual music or arts workers.
The aim is to empower you to maintain responsibility for the situation wherever possible. Often the Manager Support Hotline involves just one conversation. If needed, the counsellor can follow up with you and provide additional support.
The Manager Support Hotline, like counselling, is a confidential service.
The Helplines are particularly targeted at those who may not have access to an EAP, including freelancers and contractors. The Helplines do 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, or cannot access your organisation’s EAP for any reason, the Support Act Helplines are for you.
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.
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.
Yes. Absolute confidentiality is assured and is 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.
The Arts Wellbeing Collective team receives reporting of pure statistical data that shows how many people access the Helplines, and high level data about themes. No names or personal details are shared in this reporting.
Yes, you can call for support, counselling or coaching on any aspect of your mental health and wellbeing. The clinicians are experienced in supporting people seeking help for a wide range of concerns including, but not limited to:
- Anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions
- Harm from gambling, alcohol and other drugs
- Financial and legal issues
- Relationship issues
- Family violence
- Grief and loss
No, the Helplines are currently available via phone or video conference only.
The Helplines are designed for short-term support, and many people report feeling relieved and helped after just one conversation!
Calling a Helpline is not intended to replace ongoing clinical support – if you need ongoing support, please speak with the Helpline clinician for advice on finding someone to talk with over the medium or longer term.
The Arts Wellbeing Collective team works closely with the Helpline clinicians to ensure they have an understanding of the challenges faced by performing arts workers, and many of the clinicians have direct experience working in the industry.
However, it is a complex and complicated industry, so you may need to explain some aspects of your job. We appreciate your patience if the clinicians are not across every aspect of your work environment.
The clinicians staffing the Helplines 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.
All clinicians are bound by professional codes of conduct and strict confidentiality requirements.
Yes, we are always happy to hear from clinicians with a particular interest in or experience with supporting people working in the performing arts. Submit an expression of interest here.
Should I still call if:
Yes. No matter what it is – big or small – if you feel you could benefit from a conversation with a qualified mental health professional, these Helplines are for you. Remember, seeking help is not just for times of crisis, it’s also a preventative health measure to help you stay well.
That’s ok – this is a great starting place! The clinicians can help point you in the right direction if the Helpline you call is not what you need right now.
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.
Feel free to call the Helplines to ask questions, get in touch with the Arts Wellbeing Collective team(opens in new window), or contact Support Act on 1300 731 303 (business hours).