Help Musicians have launched a new digital mental health platform to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
- READ MORE: Mental health charities on post-lockdown pressure and the importance of reaching out: “We don’t have a clear route to normality”
Music Minds Matter Explore is a new website providing those in the music industry with help and resources for mental health support, with help on depression, performance anxiety and more.
The number of musicians who are reaching out for help and advice from Help Musicians has continued to increase, even after lockdown was lifted last summer. Musicians seeking counselling through the Music Minds Matter service has increased by 94.4 per cent in 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, with some of the key concerns including financial worries and thoughts of leaving the profession.
Joe Hastings, Head of Music Minds Matter at Help Musicians, explained: “Music and musicians bring us all enormous joy but as these numbers show, mental health needs within the music industry are continuing to rise. Music Minds Matter Explore has been launched to provide all those working in the sector with a new and additional form of help – adding to the range of services Help Musicians offers in this area.
“We hope that those using the site will find information to understand their needs better, signposting to support available locally and nationally, plus knowledgeable and supportive voices. The music landscape is ever-changing and we will continue to develop our mental health support for all those who work in music. Sadly, two years of Covid have seriously disrupted careers and we would encourage anyone struggling to get in touch and find the support they need.”
Visit Music Minds Matter Explore here and find more mental health resources at the bottom of the page.
Last year, it was reported that the combined impact of the coronavirus lockdown and fears over the Brexit deal’s insufficient support for touring musicians is taking an unprecedented toll on the mental health of musicians in the UK.
New research conducted by Help Musicians, who surveyed over 700 musicians across the UK for the study, found that 87 per cent of respondents said their mental health had deteriorated over the past year.
59 per cent of musicians said that their worries about the impact of Brexit on the music industry had compounded the problem, while 96 per cent said they were worried about their financial situation generally.
Around 70 per cent of the musicians who were surveyed said that they weren’t confident that they will be “able to cope financially” over the next six months. Half of the respondents (51 per cent) said they were currently earning nothing at all from music.
24 per cent of the musicians who took part in the study admitted that they are currently considering leaving the music profession for good due to the knock-on effect of the pandemic and Brexit. Other factors impacting musicians’ mental health over the past year include a lack of certainty about the future (91 per cent), not being able to perform (81 percent) and having no purpose (66 per cent).
Speaking to NME to mark World Mental Health Day 2021, mental health charities, musicians and more discussed the difficulties of returning to live music and how to get help if you are struggling.
“There’s this perception that you should be feeling better now, which is a very difficult thing for a lot of people to deal with,” Simon Gunning, CEO of the mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), told NME. During the first lockdown last spring, CALM saw a 34 per cent increase in the use of their free helpline, which then increased to 44 per cent during the second lockdown before Christmas.
The highest increase in demand from those seeking help, though, came as lockdown was lifted last July.
“It’s still quite an overwhelming period where musicians are trying to make sense of the situation and understand it,” Joe Hastings added. “A lot of people we’re speaking to are experiencing performance anxiety and are quite worried about getting back on stage.
“A lot of people are feeling pressure to do as much as they can. There have been 18 months where they have been unable to work or earn, and there’s now a lot of pressure packed into a very small period of time.”
For help and advice on mental health:
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians (CALL MUSIC MINDS MATTER ON: 0808 802 8008)
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues (CALL: 0800 030 6789)
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day