Help Musicians UK launches 24/7 mental health support line and service for the music industry

The independent music charity, Help Musicians UK (HMUK), launched a new 24/7 mental health service, Music Minds Matter, on 4 December 2017.

Designed for anyone working in the music industry, the service aims to be the industry’s most comprehensive, combining advice, signposting, clinical pathways and professional therapeutic services including counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In addition, the service provides access to HMUK’s grant funding and individuals may also access advice on legal issues, debt and benefits. The support line, +44 (0)808 802 8008, is available free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During 2016, HMUK’s Health & Welfare team experienced a 22% increase in requests for help from musicians across the UK. In response to this, the charity commissioned the University of Westminster and MusicTank to undertake the world’s largest academic study into mental health and the music industry. The findings of the report, Can Music Make You Sick?, led to HMUK’s pledge to launch the Music Minds Matter service by December this year as well as initiating the music industry’s first Mental Health Taskforce in collaboration with music industry partners, organisations and stakeholders.

HMUK’s approach with Music Minds Matter is to provide individually tailored support and access to appropriate resources. In particular, the new 24/7 service will provide:

  • listening and emotional support
  • support and advice in getting a diagnosis
  • signposting to additional services that can support issues around mental health, addiction, eating disorders, sexual harassment and homelessness
  • CBT, counselling and advice on debt, welfare benefits and legal issues
  • links to the charity’s Health & Welfare grants

Advice can also be accessed by emailing MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk.

Artist, Nadine Shah, said:

‘I would like to give my passionate, wholehearted support to Help Musicians UK and the new Music Minds Matter mental health service. The music industry is in such need of a service like this. It’s about time we had a service that is always there for people, one that really caters to the myriad of mental health challenges and complexities that musicians and people in the music industry face. As someone that has experienced struggles of my own, I know how important it is to know that I could access help and support when I need it. It means so much – thank you, HMUK.’

Richard Robinson, CEO, HMUK, said:

‘Help Musicians UK is uniquely positioned as a charity to coordinate, lead and support those working in music with mental health challenges. With 96 years of experience, we understand the complexity of being a musician and recognise the need for support that reflects the nature of the business whilst providing a personalised service tailored to each person we help.

‘Music Minds Matter is a first for the British music industry and the biggest ever undertaking by HMUK. We are earmarking just under £1 million over the next four years and we fully expect the service to grow and evolve. However, this can only happen in close consultation and collaboration with the music industry and those organisations already providing mental health support. This is why a fully engaged Music Industry Mental Health Taskforce is also a prerequisite and catalyst for real change and understanding.

‘It is also important to underline that early intervention is key in this service. This is not just for individuals in crisis, it is so much more and provides comprehensive support on a range of issues. In time, we will look to add additional regional capabilities and services, as well as global partnerships, to really make a difference to those that need it most and future-proof our music industry to be as healthy and successful as it can be.’

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