Entertainment Assist Data CO-OP

Swinburne University of Technology’s Social Data Analytics (SoDA) Lab understands the importance of building and supporting the data capabilities of the Not-For-Profit (NFP) sector. As tools such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analysis become increasingly common in government and throughout the commercial sector, NFPs risk falling behind in obtaining required data analytics capabilities.

Victorian-based Entertainment Assist is a national charity that raises awareness about mental health and wellbeing amongst people working in the Australian Entertainment Industry1. Intermission is a mental health and wellbeing program designed and delivered by Entertainment Assist. The program aims to improve mental health literacy in the industry by encouraging open conversations about mental ill-health at the workplace and identifying proactive support pathways and resources1.

To enable Entertainment Assist to use data to understand and communicate the impact of their work to key stakeholders, Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute partnered with the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) to deliver the Data for Good Collaboration. With a focus on developing the soft skills needed to navigate the evolving data landscape, we facilitated a series of interactive co-design workshops and  created a suite of  data capacity-building webinars to promote data literacy amongst our participating NFPs. Using the Social Data Analytics (SoDA) Lab’s Data CO-OP methodology -  a collaborative approach to  data sharing using a combination of private and public datasets - our team of data scientists worked together  with Entertainment Assist to explore  organisational and  publicly available datasets to co-create data insights and visualisations.

For Entertainment Assist, the insights generated through our analysis of public datasets showing the prevalence of mental ill-health in the Australian population highlighted and confirmed the need for Entertainment Assist’s work.  Our analysis of the  2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing dataset (ABS 2007)  and the 2017-2018 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare dataset revealed three relevant insights. Firstly, in 2007,  45% of Australians aged 16 to 85 experienced mental ill-health at some point in their life. Secondly, in 2008, young people aged 16-24 reported the highest prevalence, (26%) of mental ill-health symptoms in the previous 12 months. Finally,  the data showed that in 2018, 384 out of every 1000 Australians  had sought assistance from mental health services.

The Data CO-OP methodology employed by this initiative has produced new knowledge for Entertainment Assist.  By combining insights from the Intermission data with relevant publicly available datasets our analysis  has highlighted both the ongoing need to respond to the challenges of mental ill health  and the importance of organisations like Entertainment Assist. At the same time, and working together with Entertainment Assist, our exploration of the data from the Intermission program  has demonstrated the positive impacts of  building mental health literacy for people employed within the entertainment industry.


[1] https://www.entertainmentassist.org.au