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How we help
Support Act has been at the forefront of the Australian music industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing crisis relief, mental health and wellbeing support to the thousands of artists, artist managers, crew and music workers (from all genres) who have lost their jobs, their incomes and their career momentum due to the COVID-19 shutdown of the live music industry.
Since March, Support Act has received thousands of applications and handed out $millions in MusicKeeper and CrewKeeper cash grants to music workers who are struggling financially. Our grants take the form of short-term financial support, with applications assessed by our social work team. Our support helps to pay the rent/mortgage, power bills, phone bills, car rego, medical expenses, kids' school fees and more. (We also provide funeral support to ensure music workers who leave us can be farewelled with dignity). Our grants are not competitive. Anyone who meets our criteria qualifies to receive a grant.
Here’s what some of our service users have said:
"Amazing Experience. (The social worker) was very understanding and kind and asked many questions to get me the best help she could. Honestly it far exceeded my expectations and I’ve recommended Support Act to all of my musician friends. It’s been a huge help and the only help in these hard times of no work, which I’m still struggling with now. Thank you so much Support Act!
Support Act literally kept the roof over my head and food in my cupboards, you kept my utilities connected and kept me from landing on the street."
Support Act Wellbeing Helpline
The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential counselling service that is available to anyone working in Australian music or the arts who needs to talk to someone about any aspect of their wellbeing. The service is accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days per year by calling 1800 959 500 within Australia. It is delivered in partnership with AccessEAP.
There has been a significant increase in the numbers of people calling the Helpline due to COVID-19, with concerns ranging from anxiety, workplace stress, isolation, relationship issues and more.
“I was in crisis in late April due to multiple events that occurred simultaneously. I called the Support Act help line and worked with the counsellor. She is gentle. kind, and nurturing. I am able to carefully consider decisions now, whereas before I would make them impulsively. I learned also to be accountable and learn from my mistakes, instead of laying blame to others. I have made a good recovery in the almost 4 months that have passed and I give my counsellor great credit for helping me achieve this peace. I have much gratitude for her guidance.”
Manager Support Hotline
This service allows managers and team leaders to receive coaching in 15 min increments from our Helpline clinicians in how to manage a mental health issue in their workspace. This could include concern about a music or arts worker who is at potential risk of self-harm, support for a music or arts workers who is vulnerable or has a mental health condition, having conversations about performance issues or help in dealing with organisational change processes.
First Nations Support Line
Support Act's First Nations Community Engagement & Social Worker ensures that more First Nations artists, artist managers, crew and music workers access our services. The First Nations Dedicated Support Line helps to foster a feeling of cultural safety as it is staffed by First Nations psychologists and other clinicians with cultural awareness training.
Support Act Prevention, Education and Training (PET) programs
In order to address the disproportionate levels of mental ill-health in the music and arts industry, Support Act is developing or supporting a range of PET programs to reinforce positive mental health and wellbeing messages and engender a sense of community and resilience among the industry. These include:
On My Mind
Our monthly online series looking at issues such as positive thinking, problem solving, communication, creativity and productivity. Our first ever On My Mind series for First Nations artists, artist managers, crew and music workers launched this year.
Designed specifically for creative people working in the music industry, the four-week Press Play program teaches participants to keep themselves mentally well amidst uncertainty and change.
An early intervention mental health program tailored to the music industry with a focus on artist management. It is delivered in partnership with the Association of Artist Managers.
Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is the nationally accredited training for individuals and teams in the music industry to be able to effectively respond to mental health issues.
There are more programs in development.
Support Act acknowledges and thanks all its donors and supporters, including the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts. Your support is what makes our programs possible.