Beautiful Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jul 23, 2024

People in performing arts twice as likely to have depression, Equity finds

People in performing arts twice as likely to have depression, Equity finds

Performing arts practitioners’ union says Covid exacerbated contributory factors such as job insecurity and low pay

People working in entertainment and performing arts are twice as likely to experience depression as the general population, according to a review of more than 100 academic studies.

The impact of Covid restrictions on theatres and other venues in 2020 and 2021 had exacerbated contributory factors such as job insecurity and low pay, said the performing arts practitioners’ union, Equity, which commissioned the review.

Antisocial working hours, time away from home and lack of support from people in positions of authority also fuelled anxiety and depression.

The review, carried out by Dr Lucie Clements, examined 111 academic studies relating to mental health in professionals and students in the performing arts sector over the past 20 years. Two studies, one focusing on actors and another on ballet dancers, showed depression to be twice as likely in performers than in the general population.

Other papers found that 24% of ballet dancers reported experiencing anxiety, along with 32% of opera singers, 52% of acting students, 60% of actors and 90% of rock musicians. Among the general population, 6% of individuals are thought to experience anxiety in any given week.

More than seven out of 10 workers in the sector are freelance, with irregular hours of employment, coupled with an expectation to be flexible and available when work does arise, according to the review.

Antisocial working hours and late-night performances may lead to disruption to sleep or inconsistent sleep routines – a known risk factor for mental health problems.

“The inconsistency of touring and pressures of time travelling, erratic working schedules (including evenings and weekend performance) and chunks of time working away mean a lack of time for loved ones, family or social life,” says the review. “Musicians, for example, spoke of going months without seeing their children. This is important since support from loved ones is known to be one of the most significant protective factors for mental health.”

According to one study, 83% of actors said financial stress was an issue at least “sometimes”, with 30% experiencing financial stress as a constant issue. Many performers juggle multiple jobs to make ends meet.

As well as employment-related issues, the review found that the impact of portraying intense emotions and repeatedly depicting extreme situations such as death or rape can contribute to poor mental health. Worries about how an individual’s performance would be received by others was also a contributory factor.

Another was pressure to conform to aesthetic ideals, “such as for female actors and dancers to be slender …. Weight pressures and eating disorder risk were directly related to both depression and anxiety in dancers … [and] anxiety, depression, and stress were all correlated with disordered eating in musicians, including vocalists.”

Paul Fleming, Equity’s general secretary, said: “This landmark study confirms in concrete terms what Equity members have known for years: those working in the entertainment and performing arts industries are likely to experience poor mental health. There are a range of contributing factors, but it’s abundantly clear that the harmful impacts of precarious work, low pay and poor working conditions are fuelling this collective crisis.”

In response to the review’s findings, Equity has launched a mental health charter with five key demands aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing among performers.

They include improving pay and work-life balance, adopting safeguards and risk assessments in the workplace and ensuring historically marginalised groups are not excluded from good practice.

Equity also calls on the government to invest in mental health services to reverse a decade of underfunding.

Comments

Oh ya 2 year ago
Yup when your 12 dancing around on the stage is ok but as you get older you realize that nobody wants to see a 30 yr old in spandex and that is bound to drag on your well-being. Now you realize you have to get a real job and have no experience at anything marketable

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
0:00
0:00
Close
Immigration Crackdown Targets Car Washes and Beauty Sector
Nigeria's Controversial Return to Colonial-Era National Anthem
Hacking Vulnerabilities: Androids vs. iPhones
Ukraine Crisis Should Be EU's Responsibility, Says Trump’s Envoy
A Week of Turmoil: Key Moments in US Politics
Barrow's Sacred Heart Primary School Faces Long-Term Closure
German National Sentenced to Death in Belarus
Elon Musk's Companies Drop CrowdStrike After Global Windows 10 Outage
US Advises India on Russian Ties Amid Geopolitical Shifts
Trump Pledges to End Ukraine Conflict if Reelected
Global IT Outage Unveils Digital Vulnerabilities
Global IT Outage Sparks Questions About Financial Accountability
CrowdStrike Bug Affects 8.5 Million Windows Devices
Flights Resume After Major Microsoft Outage
US Criticizes International Court's Opinion on Israeli Occupation
CrowdStrike Update Causes Global IT Outage Due to Skipped Quality Checks
EU’s Patronizing Attitude Towards Africa Revealed
Netanyahu Denounces World Court Ruling on Israeli Occupation
Adidas Drops Bella Hadid Over Controversy
Global Outage Caused by CrowdStrike Update Impacts Millions
Massive Flight Cancellations Across the U.S. Due to Microsoft Outage
Global Windows Outage Causes Chaos Across Banks, Airlines, and More
Russia Accuses Ukraine of Using Chemical Weapons
UK's Flawed COVID-19 Planning Exposed by Inquiry
Ursula von der Leyen Wins Second Term as European Commission President
Police Officer Injured in Attack in Central Paris
Hulk Hogan absolutely tore it up at the RNC.
Paris is being "cleansed" of migrants and homeless people ahead of the Olympics.
Lamine Yamal arriving at his school after winning the Euros
Campaigners Urge UK Government to Block Shein's London IPO
UK Labour Government's Legislative Agenda
UK Labour Government to Regulate Powerful AI Models
Record Heat Temperatures in Ukraine Amid Power Crisis
UK Government Plans to Remove 92 Hereditary Peers from House of Lords
King Charles III Delivers Labour Government's First King's Speech
Officials Remove 'Disastrous' Label from Liz Truss's Mini-Budget
Keir Starmer Outlines Ambitious Plans for Government
Japan to Allocate $3.3 Billion to Ukraine Using Frozen Russian Assets
EU Parliament Condemns Hungarian PM's Russia Visit
FBI Struggles to Find Motive Behind Trump Shooting Incident
Kremlin Criticizes EU Rejection of Orban’s Ukraine Peace Proposal
Google and Microsoft Now Consume More Power Than Several Large Countries
Secret Service Criticized for Lack of Sniper Protection During Trump Shooting
US Senator Robert Menendez Found Guilty of Corruption
Deep Concerns about Political Violence as US Approaches Election Day
Trump Media Shares Surge Following Re-Election Bid Boost
The gunman who attempted to assassinate Donald Trump Saturday is 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks
Banksy's Influence on Port Talbot's Street Art Scene
Bodies of Two Men Found in Suitcases on Bristol Bridge, 24-Year-Old Arrested
Kate Middleton to Attend Wimbledon Men's Final Amid Cancer Recovery
×