On Monday 21 November, stars of the Australian entertainment industry will come together for Out From Under at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre in response to the issue of mental health within the profession.
First held in Melbourne in 2015, Out From Under is an evening aimed at removing the stigma surrounding mental health within the entertainment industry by bringing it out of the shadows.
Hosted by Gorgi Coghlan and directed by Kelley Abbey, the evening will feature performances from some of Australia’s most talented artists from all sectors of the arts community. Confirmed artists include Debra Byrne, Silvie Paladino, Rob Mills, Lucy Durack, Amy Campbell, Ben Abraham, Casey Donovan, Ainsley Melham, Loren Hunter, Monique Montez, Troy Sussman, Rob Tripolino, Adam-Jon Fiorentino, Michael James Scott, Heather Mitchell, Rachael Beck, Simon Phillips, Damien Leith, The Idea of North, The Tap Pack and DrummerQueens. Musical Director for this one-off event will be Luke Hunter.
Out From Under is not only an evening of entertainment, but one of education and awareness. Joining the performers onstage will be psychologists and leading experts in mental health, to help recognise the warning signs and symptoms, and how to assist. A round table conversation about mental health will also be included, with panelists including psychologists Jocelyn Penna and Julie Crabtree.
Jocelyn Penna is a psychologist with over 16 years’ experience who is committed to assisting people in high pressure environments to manage challenges, experience life balance and perform. She works with professional ballerinas, dance companies, actors, musicians and athletes. Julie Crabtree has over 25 years’ experience as a corporate staff psychologist in organisations, public health and training, and is now working in private practice specialising in issues associated with creative artists.
Producer of Out From Under, Matthew Henderson said: “Watching a friend’s struggle and my inability to assist and help, I decided it was time to begin an open dialogue about the issue of mental health within our industry,” he said.
“The statistics about anxiety, depression and suicide are staggering, and my hope for Out From Under is to begin a process where we are more aware of each other and more informed to do something to help.”
The rate of suicide amongst artists is more than double that of the general population. Until recently, the high incidence of mental health and suicide across the Australian entertainment industry has gone unrecognised. Entertainment Assist, in partnership with Victoria University, conducted a world-first research project, Pride, Passion & Pitfalls: Working in the Australian Entertainment Industry to study all sectors of the industry, including performers, backstage crews, technicians, camera crews, producers and directors.
Funds raised from this event will help Entertainment Assist support the mental health of Australian entertainment industry workers. Out From Under is a unique event not to be missed. For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.seymourcentre.com for details.
Image: Out From Under Sydney 2016 (supplied)