Musicians have united for World Mental Health Day, sharing messages of support and advice on where to get help if needed.
In the UK, artists including IDLES, The Charlatans‘ Tim Burgess, Nadine Shah and Everything Everything’s Jonathan Higgs have been sharing messages on social media of the importance of speaking openly about mental health issues and in seeking help when needed.
IDLES wrote on Twitter this morning (October 10): “1 in 15 people in the UK will attempt suicide. Through direct conversations about suicide, we can break the stigma and save lives.”
Burgess said: “This year has been so demanding for all of us. Sometimes it’s difficult to see anything beyond the dark clouds. But hope is always with us. Reach out if you need to, take time out if things gets too much. It’s about looking after each other and ourselves #WorldMentalHealthDay.”
Whilst Higgs added: “Mine has never been worse. I get to screech about my feelings on a stage but this is NOT the way to deal with your problems. Don’t suffer in silence folks, seek help, talk, don’t try to hide it – get wise enough to know yourself. Be the audience for others. #WorldMentalHealthDay.”
Shah, meanwhile, urged fans to “speak out if you’re suffering.”
1 in 15 people in the UK will attempt suicide. Through direct conversations about suicide, we can break the stigma and save lives. Support our campaign this #WorldMentalHealthDay at https://t.co/pa98FYegaG
#AskNowSaveLives @GrassrootsSP pic.twitter.com/BW3ylXR53m
— I D L E S (@idlesband) October 10, 2020
This year has been so demanding for all of us. Sometimes it’s difficult to see anything beyond the dark clouds. But hope is always with us. Reach out if you need to, take time out if things gets too much.
It’s about looking after each other and ourselves
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) October 10, 2020
Mine has never been worse. I get to screech about my feelings on a stage but this is NOT the way to deal with your problems. Don't suffer in silence folks, seek help, talk, don't try to hide it – get wise enough to know yourself. Be the audience for others.#WorldMentalHealthDay
— Jonathan Higgs (@JonathanJHiggs) October 10, 2020
We are all about this and it’s an honour to be a part of it 💙 https://t.co/1koB2yL4kt
— False Advertising (@falseadv) October 10, 2020
Happy world mental health day! This is a photo I took when I was very very ill but somehow managing to hold it together. I feel so sorry for this person, she was having such a tough time! But now thanks to the NHS, the MBU, and the support of my friends and family, I am better 🥰 pic.twitter.com/5zUZXQ4SiB
— Elizabeth Sankey (@sankles) October 10, 2020
Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay. With 1 in 4 people in the UK experiencing problems with mental health each year, it is vital that we destigmatise mental illness and speak openly about it 💚 pic.twitter.com/pmZVKxhpde
— EMI (@emirecords) October 10, 2020
Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay so this episode of TWFF features a special conversation with Joe Talbot as @idlesband were putting the finishing touches to the mighty ‘Ultra Mono’. Also, a powerful opening thought from Mr @frankcarter23
— Mystery Jets (@mysteryjets) October 10, 2020
My favourite album artwork by the late, great Matthew Stephens-Scott. He suffered a severe mental health illness, as did another dear friend which the album is also dedicated to. Both took their own lives. Both were brilliant. Speak out if you’re suffering. #worldmentalhealthday pic.twitter.com/dNnRwW6mzh
— Nadine Shah (@nadineshah) October 10, 2020
As it’s #WorldMentalHealthDay it’s important to tweet, but let’s also remember this is a 365 day a year 24/7 battle we all fight as one. take care of yourselves, always try treat people with kindness, and ask how everyone around you is. Share, listen and support. We continue 💚
— Tom Grennan (@Tom_Grennan) October 10, 2020
As an ambassador for @theCALMzone I wanted to remind you that their UK helpline/web chat is free and open 5pm to midnight 365 days a year.
— Arlo Parks (@arloparks) October 10, 2020
Meanwhile, charities have warned that musicians and crew members across the UK are experiencing an increase in anxiety and depression due to the uncertainty brought on by coronavirus, while assuring those in the music industry that help and support is available.
For World Mental Health Day, NME spoke to a number of organisations about the emotional and psychological impact of gigs being unable to go ahead on the crew members and artists who make them possible.
Eric Mtungwazi, Managing Director of the charity Music Support, who offer support for “individuals in any area of the UK music industry suffering from mental, emotional and behavioural health disorders”, told NME that over the last six months since the coronavirus lockdown, over 1,000 people have accessed their services and their free provision of the Thrive mental health support app.
“The numbers that we’ve seen in such a short time show that there is a real and concerning, emerging pattern of people reporting anxiety and depression,” Mtungwazi told NME. “Around 50 per cent of people are coming to us with anxiety issues and 35 per cent are dealing with depression at a moderate to severe level. There have been a number of people who have talked about suicide in recent months too, that’s at the most severe and acute end of the scale. We’re also getting increasing calls relating to alcohol and/or substance abuse.
“There are a significant number of cases where people are dealing with these things concurrently. It manifests itself in different ways.”
The charity set up by the family of the late Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison have today thanked the many who have raised money for them so far, while also encouraging others to support youth mental health at this vital time.
Scott Hutchison passed away in May 2018 after taking his own life and years of battling depression. In his memory, his family set up the Tiny Changes charity to fund and find inventive ideas of how to improve mental health services for young people.
Now Tiny Changes, who marked their one year anniversary as a charity back in May, are ploughing ahead to do more good work in the face of challenging times – with the help of some very valuable supporters.
“This year has been a difficult one for so many around the world, yet we feel constantly inspired by charities and individuals closer to home who are trying to make tiny changes where they can,” a spokesperson told NME.
“Over the past six months, we’ve put in to action our emergency COVID-19 fund, assisting other children and young people’s charities in Scotland, and highlighted its importance during our Tiny Gigs event which featured Frank Turner, Cloth, Tim Burgess and more. We feel that now more than ever we need to be actively supporting those young people who have felt isolated, anxious and alone over recent months.”