Entertainment media outlet 'Xsports News' recently sat down with various representatives of K-Pop idols' management agencies in order to look into how currently promoting idols are being treated in their mental health issues.
Despite the fact that many companies utilize professional programs to take care of their artists' mental wellbeing, K-Pop artists often suffer from mental health problems due to the nature of their careers.
According to various management agency representatives, the companies often ask their artists to undergo mental health programs regularly or even suggest that they visit a doctor.
Agency rep #1: "At our agency, we have a weekly meditation program offered for not only our artists, but all employees. Of course, artists and employees receive meditation programs separately. If an artist asks for it, the company is also willing to provide the necessities for a doctor's visit. It's true that sometimes, artists want to visit a doctor on their own, but other times, close employees recognize that certain artists are having a hard time. In such cases, the company will approach the individual and suggest medical treatment."
Agency rep #2: "We have a specialized department which works close with the artist management team to carry out regular discussion sessions. We also hold lectures with guest instructors."
Agency rep #3: "Because we are a small company, it's realistically difficult to establish a separate program dedicated to mental health. The management team meets regularly with the artists, checking their mental conditions through conversation."
In what ways can artists who have overcome their mental health struggles after a period of hiatus, maintain their wellbeing?
Agency rep #4: "Artists who are suffering mentally due to factors including malicious comments, etc undergo multiple treatment methods, including therapy sessions as well as more specific methods like color therapy, coloring books, and more."
Agency rep #5: "One effective method for taking care of an artist's mental wellbeing is to provide support for the artist in activities that the artist has an interest in. More basically, methods such as adequate rest when possible, and maintaining healthy, positive hobbies are also effective. Healthy hobbies are helpful as they allow artists to build self-esteem."
Agency rep #6: "When an artist expresses their wishes to take a break from promotions, we usually comply. The decision to return to promotions is also largely based on the artist's own will. It would not make sense for a company to force an artist to return to promotions when they are not ready."
Finally, various idol company representatives agreed that the K-Pop industry must continue moving forward toward positive changes in areas related to mental health.
Agency rep #7: "There are a lot of problems within the overall system of managing K-Pop idols. The way idols currently promote, it's impossible to avoid heavy stress both physically and mentally due to the amount of overwhelming schedules."
Agency rep #8: "It's true that more agencies are paying closer attention to idols and their mental health. However, the artists still feel heavy mental burdens due to the fact that being idols, the perspectives and opinions of others define their careers. In that sense, it was a positive step forward to see various entertainment sites getting rid of the comment sections."
Agency rep #9: "It's likely that not everything can be revealed to the surface from the perspective of just the management company alone. Even if the agency treats its artists with a lot of care and affection, it can still be hard to check individuals thoroughly. In truth, it is likely the fellow members who have the most awareness. The members need to take care of one another and contact the company proactively, so that positive conversations can improve the situation."