Depression

Music Minds Matter expands service following huge rise in requests for help from musicians

The Help Musicians charity has seen a 65 percent increase in calls to its Music Minds Matter service so far this year and 87 percent of respondents to its recent survey said their mental health had deteriorated over the pandemic.

In consequence, Help Musicians is adding a national network of support groups offering all who work in music a change to meet with experts and each other to tackle anxiety and build resilience. It is also targeting information to help people across the music sector find help.

This is in addition to Music Minds Matters’ 24hr mental health support line, which is staffed by accredited therapists, and the deeper help offered by Help Musicians’ clinical partner, the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

The new initiative is co-funded by UK Music, which wholly endorses the Help Musicians initiative. PPL has already offered a £300,000 package over the next three years to cover the costs of one-to-one counselling and therapy.

The intention is that the project will grow to offer support to all who work in music, whether as performers, creators or teachers, or in technical support.

Lucy Heyman, musicians’ health and wellbeing specialist and co-author of ‘Sound Advice’, said, ‘Even before the pandemic hit, musicians experienced significant mental and physical challenges in their careers. This situation has worsened over the last twelve months with many now facing increased financial difficulties and mental health issues, along with uncertainty about the future and return to work. As a result, we vitally need more support services for musicians and those working in the industry around them.

‘The collaborative, industry-wide approach that Help Musicians is offering will enable anyone in the music industry to access the very best support services available in one place, no matter who provides them. It will make a meaningful difference to the music community, providing much-needed centralised support, along with targeted localised solutions, to address the issues caused by the pandemic and beyond.’

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