Value Of Music: Help Musicians UK’s ‘Music Minds Matter’
Here, at The BRIT Trust & BPI, we want to highlight the importance of the Value of Music, not just to the Economy and through its positive social impact, but also to our personal well-being. It’s only through looking at all the amazing benefits of music that we can really see the full value of music to us and those around us.
Help Musicians UK are an amazing music charity in Britain who help at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the extra support they need at a crucial stage that could make or break their career. Here is what Christine Brown, Director of External Affairs at Help Musicians UK, had to say about one of their most recent campaigns Music Minds Matter.
For a 96-year-old charity with its roots deep in classical music with Sir Edward Elgar as the first President, the past two years have been transformational. Help Musicians UK has morphed from the well-liked and historic Musicians Benevolent Fund to a campaigning, life-changing and modern proactive charity. And none more so with the advent of Music Minds Matter.
On Monday 4 December, the music industry’s first comprehensive mental health support line and service was launched by HMUK. With a significant financial commitment and a dedication to listen and help.
Dialling 0808 802 8008 free of charge, 24 hours a day, seven days a week gives anyone in the industry access to emotional support, advice, signposting, clinical pathways and professional therapeutic services, including counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
But it’s so much more than that. Callers may also be able to access the charity’s grant funding programmes and advice on legal issues, debt and benefits.This is a first for the British music industry.
So, who is it for and why? In April 2016, HMUK changed its historic constitution in order to support ALL musicians and those in the music industry. The charity is just as likely to be giving grants to musicians and artists as to guitar techs, roadies and artist managers. And with this change in mind, the charity has seen its impact grow from under 1,000 people helped in 2014 to nearly 10,000 in 2017. The new Music Minds Matter service will take these numbers and the idea of a mental health service to another level with real round-the-clock support and a truly comprehensive offering.
The Music Minds Matter campaign, which we launched back in July, was borne out of a 2014 Health and Welfare Survey which highlighted the needs of the music community. This was closely followed by the commissioning of the University of Westminster and MusicTank to deliver an academic study titled ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ on the Music Industry and Mental Health. The results were alarming. The figures suggested those in the industry are three times more likely to suffer from mental health issues and around 70% had struggled with depression and anxiety.
As a result of the research, Help Musicians UK made three pledges in October; to launch a landmark 24/7 mental health service for anyone working in the music industry by December 2017, to establish a Music Industry Mental Health Taskforce and to link with international counterparts to end stigma and offer meaningful mental health support globally.
We have lived by the first pledge and we intend to live by the others. The Music Minds Matter service has been launched and we have already started working with the music industry to put mental health at the top of the agenda. However, the campaign doesn’t stop with the launch of the service.
As the weeks and months pass, the service will undoubtedly be honed and shaped further. Different signposts, partners, clinical pathways and therapies will be needed and Music Minds Matter will respond to the changing needs of its audience. We’ll adapt, change and keep listening.
HMUK is supporting mental health and Music Minds Matter for the long term and it will undoubtedly change and save lives. But it’s not ours – the service is for all those in the music industry as it needs to be owned and supported by everyone in the community.
Whether it’s you, a friend, a colleague, a partner or simply someone you know who needs emotional support please urge them to call 0808 802 8008.
Individuals can also emailMMM@helpmusicians.org.uk(48 hour turnaround) and find out more at musicmindsmatter.org.uk
Join the conversation #MusicMindsMatter