A new study has found 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 the charity 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.
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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).
Today we released the concerning findings from our recent survey. While the financial impact of the pandemic on musicians has been clear, the nature of mental health challenges means they can be much less obvious. If you're struggling to cope, we're here to support you. pic.twitter.com/AjPq6MMwdT
— Help Musicians (@HelpMusiciansUK) March 11, 2021
Speaking about the findings of the study, Help Musicians’ Chief Executive James Ainscough said that “we can’t sugar coat these findings – we are facing a mental health crisis amongst musicians on an unprecedented scale”.
“Whilst there may be light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap out of lockdown revealed, there is still substantial uncertainty around how quickly the music industry can recover, plus the catastrophic impact of the Brexit deal on musicians’ ability to tour. After a year of hardship, the ongoing uncertainty for musicians is taking a huge toll on mental health,” Ainscough said.
“We have been offering ongoing financial support to thousands of musicians throughout the pandemic, but offering money is just one part of what musicians need – we have also had to completely revamp the mental health support we offer to address this rapidly unfolding crisis. Musicians who cannot work don’t just suffer financially, they grieve for the creativity and connections that their music usually brings.
“This is why we have bolstered our mental health support for musicians across the UK. If you are a musician who needs urgent help or simply a listening ear, please call Music Minds Matter now on 0808 802 8008.”
Back in October Help Musicians extended their financial hardship support fund to aid those musicians who are struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic
For help and advice on mental health:
- ‘Am I depressed?‘ – Help and advice on mental health and what to do next
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day