Mental Health and Self-Compassion among the Performing Arts


Background: Like sport, many stressors exist within the performing arts which may contribute to mental ill-health. One area that has attracted growing attention for its potential to respond to mental health in high performance contexts is self-compassion. However, no large studies to this point have explored self-compassion in this population. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine how different aspects of self-compassion contribute to mental health among performing artists in a large and diverse sample across Australia. Methods: This was an online cross-sectional survey of performing artists in Australia. Participants were eligible across forms of dance, acting, and music, and included both those studying or working in the field. Participants completed a range of questionnaires to assess mental health (PhQ9, GAD7, WEMBWS) and Self-Compassion (SCS, CMAS, FCS), in addition to a range of other important demographic and descriptive factors (e.g., stress, body image). The study will report on descriptive data across mental health scales and self-reported diagnoses, in addition to risk profiling of key contributors to mental health. The survey is now closed, and we had over ~500 participants complete at least part of the survey. Exact participant numbers will be confirmed during the analysis stage. Results: We are currently undertaking analysis of the collected data, led by a senior biostatistician on the team. Findings will be available within the coming weeks, but after the cut off for abstract submission. Thus, a detailed summary of our findings will be available at the time of presentation, if selected.