Nearly two-thirds of people in Australia’s creative industry have shown symptoms of depression, according to the first major study looking at mental illness in the country’s media, marketing and creative industries from Never Not Creative, Everymind and UnLtd.
Interviewing more than 1,800 participants across the industries between August and September this year, the study seeks to understand the mental health issues facing the marketing and communications industries in Australia. The study used the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale to identify symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Of its many findings, among the more alarming is that the creative industry showed higher levels of depression, with 61% of respondents showing symptoms of depression, compared to 53% in marketing and 46% in media. Overall, 57% of participants showed symptoms of stress, and 18% signs of severe or extremely severe stress.
However, the creative, media and marketing world is literate about mental health issues, the study found, and 89% of participants said they were willing to work closely with someone with depression, indicating a highly supportive attitude. Yet the study said only around a third of businesses currently offer mental health support, which must be improved significantly.
Stigma issues also decreased with age—26% of 17- to 24-year-olds felt a person with mental health problems would be mistreated in the creative, marketing and media industries, compared to 48% of 45- to 54-year-olds.
“Now that we know the issues, we will be identifying the right solutions to help make our industry more mentally healthy,” said Andy Wright, founder of Never Not Creative. “We’d like to launch a resource hub for various tips and tools around mental health specifically for people working in our industry and we will be working with our community to address some of the contributing factors identified in the study.”
If you or someone you care about needs help, please seek help in your country. For example, the Samaritans can be reached 24 hours a day at 1800 221 4444 in Singapore and 2896-0000 in Hong Kong.