The Japan Actors Union held a conference on October 30, 2020, for all 2,600 members, ranging from film stars to anime voice actors. During the conference, the representatives announced that due to a negative response to a survey by the union, the union will be setting up mental health services for Japanese actors and voice actors.
The survey asked members, "Do you want to die due to work?" with around 30% (48 people) of the responders, saying "yes." When pressed on what was causing them to have these feelings, the actors said that the emotions were caused by "long working hours" and "harassment.
Due to the overwhelmingly negative survey response, the Japan Actors Union has agreed to set up procedures for actors and voice actors where they can discuss their mental health issues.
A psychiatrist participated in the conference and analysed the reason why a high percentage of actors felt that way and said that "celebrities are constantly being judged on social media and are prone to extreme stresses such as restrictions on food and sleep, while at the same time, they're not able to talk to anyone about their problems, which can lead to suicide."
Recently in May, the Japan Actors Union set up a survey and based on 293 respondents to its questionnaire, over 60% of freelance actors and voice actors expect to receive half their regular income or less starting in May. Among respondents, 43.3% anticipated receiving some income at half their regular income or less, and another 22.9% said they would receive no income.
More than 90% of respondents reported fewer job offers. 34.8% of respondents reported a reduction of requests for new work in the future, while 57.3% reported receiving no requests at all.
Mental health issues/problems is a very serious matter in today's world. The majority of people who experience mental health problems can get over them or learn to live with them, especially if they get help early on. If you or anyone you know is going through a tough time and feeling like you cannot hold on, here is a list of numbers for hotlines around the world to ring to get the help you need.