Help Musicians UK announces mental health support campaign

Help Musicians UK, the largest provider of health and welfare support for the British music industry, has announced Music Minds Matter, a new campaign for music-industry-wide support of the world’s first dedicated 24/7 mental health service for people working in music.

The announcement on 24 July 2017 sees HMUK call for ‘arm in arm’ support from the music industry and philanthropists to match HMUK’s investment of £100,000. The campaign was launched as a response to the death of Linkin Park lead singer, Chester Bennington, and follows HMUK’s identification of a mental health crisis among those working in the music industry. The charity has been seeking to launch a new mental health service since the launch of the Can Music Make You Sick? research study in May 2016, which found that people in the industry are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other related problems.

The groundbreaking 24/7 mental health service will launch later in 2017, combining listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support for those who need it. HMUK remains committed to campaigning, educating, and encouraging conversations about mental and emotional wellbeing.

Doubling Help Musicians UK’s investment, with a minimum total of £200k, will allow the mental health service to be sustainable beyond 2018. The charity can then continue to raise money for the new fund, with ambitions for roll-out with global partners in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Rou Reynolds, lead singer of Enter Shikari, said:

‘Whilst creating and playing music has a wonderfully positive influence on mental health, it is not an all encompassing elixir for the vast swathes of mental health problems that our society breeds. The music industry has a dark history with the tragic loss of too many amazing people to suicide so I’m very happy to hear about Music Minds Matter and support them in all they’re about to do.’

Matthew Leone, bassist with Madina Lake, who toured with Linkin Park in 2007, said:

‘I’ve had the great fortune of spending time with Chester on Linkin Park’s Projekt Revolution. He was a rare breed of immeasurable talent and equal humility.  He, along with the rest of the band, are among the kindest, sweetest and most embracing artists, particularly when considering the enormity of their success, that we’ve worked with. If a comprehensive, full-service mental health resource like Music Minds Matter had existed, perhaps Chester, his family and the world could have been spared this tragic loss.’

Richard Robinson, CEO, Help Musicians UK, said:

‘For generations and generations, the music industry has lost some of its brightest talent and future stars due to the scourge of mental health and related issues. The situation is now urgent and we can no longer allow this to continue. The forthcoming specialist 24/7 mental health service will be a global first and go hand in hand with Help Musicians’ traditional health and welfare support, which offers advice and often financial support to people in the industry across a wide range of issues.’

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