Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has marked the one year anniversary of Music Minds Matter, its around the clock listening ear service and support line dedicated to everyone who works in the music industry with a dedicated hashtag #MMM1YearOn.
With thanks to its friends, partners, collaborators and supporters across the industry such as the BPI, MVT (Music Venue Trust), Musicians Union, Getahead Festival/AEI, PRS Members Fund, BAPAM (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine), ABO (Association of British Orchestras) and artists such as Nina Nesbitt, Adam Ficek (Babyshambles) and more, HMUK will be sharing their stories, words of support and encouragement across social media over the next two weeks.
Nina Nesbitt said: “Thanks to MMM for keeping mental health in the conversation and high on the industry's agenda! Always pleased to support Music Minds Matter as I think we are still figuring out the affects of being in such a high pressure industry with many vices readily available and the help is definitely essential for artists. I’m really glad to see mental health being talked about more and hopefully this will encourage people to feel more comfortable with opening up and asking for help in future.”
Adam Ficek said: “I feel both proud and privileged to have been able to promote Music Minds Matter since its inception two years ago and launch last year. From my ongoing work as both a professional musician and therapist, I still feel there is a severe need for the Music Minds Matter service. The tensions of being a musician alongside the demands of both the physical and psychological environments make the career a hotbed of stressors. There is no other industry like the music industry and people need support to be able to thrive within it.”
Music Minds Matter was launched following needs highlighted by HMUK-commissioned research, the largest known study into the working conditions of musicians. The research, undertaken by University of Westminster and MusicTank, revealed 71% of all respondents believed they had experienced panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety, while 69% reported they had experienced depression. In response to the findings Help Musicians UK launched the around the clock support line and service Music Minds Matter, which has already impacted the lives of hundreds of music industry workers across the country and received praise across the music sector.
Following its first nine months in action, statistics released earlier this year on those contacting the service since its launch in December 2017, showed that 70% of all people who called the free phone line needed advice on a range of issues - from relationships to money worries - and a listening ear to help with the pressures of working in the industry. The insights underlined the importance of having not just on-the-spot crisis support, but also a safe place for people to share about not just a music industry career, but the challenges and pressures of everyday life.
On World Mental Health Day (October 10) this year the #MyMusicMindMatters social media campaign reminded people of the value of music as a companion across life’s ups and downs. The campaign caught fire on socials, seeing friends, supporters, artists and the general public share their songs that had a personal meaning. The resulting playlist is a 138-strong collection of tracks with varying lyrical messaging across a broad spectrum of genres.
HMUK’s Interim CEO James Ainscough said: “Today is a special anniversary to mark the first year of the much-needed Music Minds Matter listening service. In the last year, we have had a direct impact on hundreds of lives, we have also been out in the field alongside other important contributors such as Music Support to encourage a more open discussion around mental health. Our approach is holistic, as the industry needs a broad spectrum of support, so we are continually developing what we do to best serve the ever changing needs of our beneficiaries. I would like to thank all of our supporters, partners, collaborators and well wishers in the industry. HMUK wants a world where musicians thrive and we will continue to work in partnership with all who are like-minded in order to support those in need and bring about positive change for everyone in the music sector.”
Horace Trubridge, The Musicians Union General Secretary, said: “Mental health issues amongst musicians have been ignored for far too long, and I’m really pleased that the music industry has finally started to have this discussion. The launch of Music Minds Matter a year ago represented a really important step in driving this change in attitude and has proved to be an invaluable support service for the MU’s 30,000 members."
Music Venue Trust said: "Music Venue Trust is really pleased that awareness of the stresses and pressures of working in many aspects of the music industry are now being more openly discussed with services like Music Minds Matter. Artists face tremendous pressure but everyone who works in the live industry can feel overwhelmed by long hours and high expectations, and in grassroots music venues these stresses are often compounded by poor working conditions and money worries. Having someone to turn to, where someone will listen and understand how you feel is invaluable."
Claire Cordeaux, Director British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) said: “We see people suffering with mental health problems in our clinics every day. We are delighted to work in partnership with HMUK and others to offer our clinical expertise to create effective pathways of care. Working together, we aim to support musicians to get the help they need to sustain a career in the industry as well as preventing problems from occurring in the first place.”
Mark Pemberton, Director, Association of British Orchestras said: “The Association of British Orchestras has placed the wellbeing of the orchestral musician at the forefront of its work on behalf of its members for the past two decades. We were delighted when Help Musicians UK launched their Music Minds matter resource, and have been actively signposting it to our members.”
Jenni Cochrane, Director of Culture & Partnerships, AEI Group, owners of Getahead Festival said: "Getahead is incredibly proud to be working with HMUK to support Music Minds Matter. Through live events and music releases, the partnership has enabled us to give back to the artists themselves. The industry needs a service like MMM now more than ever, enabling discussions surrounding mental health and helping to normalise it. Congratulations on your 1st anniversary #MMM1YearOn"
Whatever you’re going through right now, you can contact Music Minds Matter on 0808 802 8008 or email us at [email protected].