Help Musicians has announced plans to expand its Music Minds Matter mental health support service. The music charity says that it has already seen calls to that service increase by 65% since the start of the year.
A key driver of those calls over the last three months has been financial anxiety and uncertainty about the future. A survey of musicians carried out by the charity also shows that 87% have seen their mental health worsen during the pandemic.
As well as the existing 24/7 Music Minds Matter phoneline launched by Help Musicians in 2017, its plans to expand the service include the launch of a national network of local support groups offering all those working in music the ability to meet together. It will also seek to signpost the best and most relevant advice and support for music-makers and music industry people if and when they need it.
“Music is beneficial to everybody’s mental wellbeing, yet those who work in music seem to struggle more than most with their own mental health”, says Help Musicians chief exec James Ainscough.
“The pandemic has amplified this paradox”, he goes on. “Music Minds Matter will become a collaborative mental wellbeing resource for the entire music industry, to help those who are struggling and to transform the ability of all those working in music to proactively maintain their wellbeing. Working together, spotlighting all that is valuable whoever the provider, the music industry can embed lasting change and become a leader in caring for the mental health of its people”.
Record industry collecting society PPL has already offered a three year funding package worth £300,000, to ensure that more musicians accessing the Music Minds Matter service can be referred to one-to-one counselling and therapeutic support. Help Musicians says that it is hoping to open this up more widely to anyone working in music.