The email and phone service, set up by Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre, will offer support on health and wellbeing issues.

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Theatre professionals looking for support on “any issue” affecting their health and wellbeing are now able to access a 24-hour helpline, which has gone live today.

Free to use, the phone and email service has been set up by the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and UK Theatre as a pilot project. It is open to anyone working in theatre – whether freelance or employed; artist or administrator. Users do not need to be a member of UK Theatre and are free to discuss topics including finance, bullying, retirement and bereavement.

“Callers will be given a safe place to share worries and concerns, and be provided with the resources they need to seek professional help if necessary,” a SOLT spokesperson said.

“Like other existing support services in the UK, Theatre Helpline is not a whistleblowing service.”

The new helpline is funded by the Theatre Development Trust, SOLT and UK Theatre. After an initial pilot year, they will assess the need for further support and funding.

Sector need

The launch of the helpline comes after research by AP revealed theatre professionals are more likely to have encountered sexual harassment than workers in other parts of the arts sector, and promises by actor’s union Equity that it would hold theatres to account on inappropriate behaviour.

It follows the setup of a similar resource for musicians last year, which was launched by Help Musicians UK research found people working in music are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other related problems.

Speaking about the new resource, Cassie Chadderton, Head of UK Theatre, stressed the need for the industry to come together to provide a “supportive working environment for everyone”.

She continued: “People do have challenges that affect their working lives, and inappropriate behaviour can be found in any area of the industry.

“Whether in the rehearsal room, boardroom, front of house or backstage, we hope Theatre Helpline provides a place for theatre professionals to talk through any concerns they have, at any time.”

The telephone number for Theatre Helpline is 0800 915 4617, and the email address is advice@theatrehelpline.org.

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