Mental Health Charter

Our Mental Health Charter has five key demands to improve mental health across the performing arts industry.

We seek to do this by bringing about deep-rooted structural reform. This includes producers and engagers addressing the harmful impacts of precarious work by improving pay and work-life balance, and adopting relevant safeguards in the workplace, such as mental health risk assessments, safe spaces policies and consultation on organisational change.

We launched the charter in response to our landmark global scoping review that found a clear trend for increased mental health concerns across the performing arts. There are a range of contributing factors, but it’s clear that the harmful impacts of precarious work, low pay and poor working conditions are fuelling this collective crisis.

Equity’s Mental Health Charter:

  1. Producers and engagers must address the harmful impacts of precarious work by improving pay and improving work-life balance. This is central for enabling good mental health and maintaining healthy, safe workplaces.
  2. Producers and engagers must adopt relevant safeguards in the workplace, such as mental health risk assessments, safe spaces policies and consultation on organisational change. Equal attention should be paid to the mental health needs of all performers and creative workers.
  3. Producers and engagers must not exclude historically marginalized groups, such as ethnically diverse and LGBTQIA communities, from policies and practices designed for promoting safe, inclusive workplaces. These workers face multiplier effects of low pay, precarious work and discrimination upon their mental health and their welfare and rights should be championed.
  4. Education providers must ensure that every young person undertaking education or training is inspired to expect dignity and respect in work. Young workers preparing to enter the industry should be encouraged to reject any form of abusive or discriminatory behaviour, and understand that doing so is intrinsic to maintaining good mental health.
  5. The Government must invest in our mental health services to reverse a decade of underfunding and reform the outdated Mental Health Act.