New research exploring mental health interventions and racism in music launched

The research is supported Sony Music's Social Justice Fund

New research that will explore mental health interventions for young people affected by racism as well as ways to level the playing field for POC musicians across genres has been launched.

The initiative, funded through Sony Music’s Social Justice Fund, sees mental health charity, Mind and race equality think tank The Runnymede Trust partner with Sony Music UK to deliver important new findings.

Sony Music UK and Mind’s ‘Young People and Racial Trauma’ will investigate the best mental health interventions for young people affected by racism. Per a press release, the  new project will “seek to understand the best blueprint for interventions and support, given statistics show that people from racialised groups may be more likely to experience mental health problems but less likely to receive appropriate mental health support”.

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And Sony Music’s work with The Runnymead Trust will deliver “ground-breaking research exploring structural barriers that may prevent black, brown and ethnically diverse artists from starting or succeeding within genres where such artists are less represented”.

Credit: Alamy

In June 2020 Sony Music Group launched the Global Social Justice Fund (SJF) to address racial injustice worldwide.

The UK arm of the Social Justice Fund has awarded more than $1million (£734,43) in funding across 16 beneficiaries since its founding.

Charlotte Edgeworth Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Social Impact for Sony Music UK said: “Sony Music UK has been working with Mind for several years, delivering training and offering support for both employees and artists. This grant signifies a deepening of this important relationship, built on our dedication to improving mental health support for people experiencing the trauma of racism.”

Marcel Vige, Head of Equity at Mind, said: “We are thankful for this grant which will allow research into how we can better support the mental health of young people who experience racism. Racism, in any of its forms, affects our mental health, whether direct racial abuse, embedded or institutional bias, or wider systems of oppression. It can affect the way we feel about ourselves and how safe we feel. And it can contribute to particular mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

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“It’s so important that the UK invests in mental health support for people who experience racism, whilst also working to tackle racism at every level. Mind is committed to being an unflinching advocate for racial justice and mental health, as part of our ambition to become an anti-racist organisation.”

Additionally, the charity OnSide will be supported through music mentoring programmes funded in three London Youth Zones: Croydon, Barnet and Barking and Dagenham. The charity seeks to help marginalised young people living in some of the capital’s most deprived and underinvested communities.

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