Category: Your relationships
Loneliness and Isolation
The entertainment industry is commonly perceived as being very gregarious and friendly. However, it can be a lonely place. The ArtsMinds research showed that the nature of work patterns in the industry is often a cause of loneliness. For example, work is rarely regular enabling you get to know and perhaps socialise with colleagues and this can be isolating. For other acts the “in and out” nature of gigging and travelling all over the country can prevent you from forming friendships. Or there can be a sudden and often intense closeness during rehearsals and the run – then it’s all over equally suddenly. The camaraderie and feeling of family has disappeared overnight and that can leave a big gap.
Sometimes, life can seem to have been taken over by work and this can be very challenging especially when it might have taken you away from home. There can also be the pressures of touring with a group of people you don’t know very well, and some of whom you might not particularly like. It can be difficult to deal with all of this when you are without your usual support network.
Older respondents also raised loneliness as an issue as a result of their not working as often as before and seeing fewer people.
“It can be a very lonely profession … one in which you have to be able to cope with emotional extremes ”
“ Anyone would be lying if they said they didn't get lonely at times. The loneliest you will get is in the most public of arenas.”George Clooney
Sources of supportMIND
Coping with LonelinessDepression Alliance
Friends in NeedReach Out
Loneliness and IsolationHelpguide
How to Make FriendsThe Silverline
Information and Frienship for Older PeopleRe-Engage
Bringing Older People TogetherAge UK
Loneliness in Older PeopleEquity
Equity BranchesTheatre Chaplaincy
Pastoral Support for all faiths and none
Families, Partners and Friends
Erratic work patterns were identified in the survey as being a source of disruption to family and personal life with touring, gigging and antisocial working hours all being mentioned, yet family contact, friendships, social contact and support are important for mental well-being.
Other respondents pointed out that when there’s work, they feel lucky to have it so if they feel unable to cope with the pressures on personal life, they might try to ignore those feelings. People were also unsure about who they could talk to.
“I have no life at all until the contract is up. My relationship is breaking down because I can’t commit the time to it ”
“ Have two young boys and find leaving them due to filming contracts really stressful. Getting worse every time I have to go.”
Sources of supportRelate
The Top 5 Skills for a Happy RelationshipRelate
Counselling, Support and Information for all relationshipsHealthy Children
Family DisruptionsPiPA (Parents & Carers in Performing Arts)
Enables and Empowers Parents, Carers and EmployersMental Health Foundation
Work Life BalanceAnna Freud National Centre for Children and Families
Help for Parents, Carers and ChildrenCloser
How to Cope in a Long Distance RelationshipHelpguide
How to Make FriendsRefuge
Support for Women Facing Domestic ViolenceMankind
Support for Male Victims of Domestic Abuse
The worlds of the media, arts and entertainment are often seen as glamorous, but a survey of 4,000 workers revealed these industries are “hotspots” of bullying, with more than half of those questioned by the Federation of Entertainment Unions (56%) saying they had been bullied, harassed or discriminated against at work.
Bullying is a highly destructive set of behaviours, sometimes openly aggressive and sometimes hidden and manipulative. Being bullied is a devastating experience that can have a negative impact on self-esteem and cause both psychological and physical harm.
Under the banner of Creating Without Conflict, the entertainment industry unions are working together to raise awareness and combat bullying. Research showed that, where bullying was reported, being a member of a union was more likely to lead to a successful outcome. It was also more likely to be reported where there was a union presence. Therefore, if you belong to a trade union and are facing bullying or harassment at work, do raise it with your union’s nearest office or workplace Rep.
“ I have been involved in a case of bullying which was brushed under the carpet by the employer. This sort of behaviour makes what otherwise should be a great career into a terrifying one, mentally ”
If you’re working in entertainment and you are dealing with a death or you are trying to deal with either the illness or the end of life of someone close to you, it can be difficult or impossible to take sufficient time off to cope with the loss and sadness such life events present. Inevitably, this can take a very great toll at an already stressful time.
For some artists it can be difficult to get privacy at such times and this brings an extra pressure on top of the challenges of coping with the loss.
“I underwent six months of bereavement counselling to ease performance anxiety which I had been suffering for about two years following the death of my daughter. I found the counselling very helpful.”