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Behind the Scenes Launches Online Survey as First Step in Developing a Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Initiative

Behind the Scenes, in response to concerns about the rising number of suicides and the prevalence of alcohol/substance misuse within the entertainment industry, is beginning work on a Mental Health and Suicide Prevention initiative and wants to get a sense of how many people in the industry are experiencing anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, problems with alcohol/substance misuse, or reactions to traumatic events.

The goal of the initiative is to provide easily accessible information, tools and resources to members of the entertainment technology industry that will offer:

• Resources for individuals to make it easier to self-identify issues and seek help in early stage as well as crisis situations
• Tools and training that will increase industry members’ confidence about how to reach out and provide assistance to individuals in need of support
• Employers and supervisors with tools and resources to become effective leaders in
o Changing the culture regarding mental health
o Identifying and supporting at-risk individuals
o Responding to a mental health crisis such as suicide or accidental overdose
o Reintegrating individuals who have been impacted by a mental health or substance misuse crisis back into the workplace

Joining Behind the Scenes in developing this initiative are representatives of major stakeholder groups such as IATSE, The Broadway League, NBCUniversal and MusiCares as well as individuals from around the industry willing to share their unique knowledge of this subject.

The first step in developing the program is to learn people in the industry, how prevalent they believe these issues are and what tools and resources would be helpful to them personally or in assisting someone they are concerned about.

All information will be reviewed and published only in aggregate and will not include any information that identifies any individual participant. All responses will be kept private and confidential to the extent permitted by law.

To participate in the survey go to: btslink.org/survey

For any questions, contact mh@btshelp.org.

The Behind the Scenes charity provides entertainment technology professionals who are seriously ill or injured with grants that may be used for basic living and medical expenses. For more information about Behind the Scenes, to donate, or to apply for a grant, visit www.btshelp.org.

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Michael Raine is the Senior Editor at Professional Lighting & Production. He is also a co-host of the popular Canadian Musician Radio weekly podcast.