Help Musicians UK has established a round-the-clock helpline and a range of other services as a result of an academic study commissioned by the charity.
Music Minds Matter's 24/7 service spans a free helpline, general advice, counselling and therapy, signposting to other services, advice on debt, welfare and legal issues and access to health- and welfare-related grant funding. It's the most comprehensive service of its kind in the UK.
It was conceived following a recent report, titled Can Music Make You Sick?, which was commissioned by the charity and conducted by the University Of Westminster and MusicTank. After surveying more than 2,200 musicians in the UK, the report found that 69% of respondents had suffered depression. (According to the Mental Health Foundation, the corresponding figure for over 16s in the UK is 19.7%, or around one in five.) Those surveyed attributed this to poor working conditions, lack of recognition, the unstable nature of a career in music and issues relating to being a woman in the industry.
Richard Robinson, Help Musicians UK's CEO, said: "Help Musicians UK is uniquely positioned as a charity to coordinate, lead and support those working in music with mental health challenges. With 96 years of experience, we understand the complexity of being a musician and recognise the need for support that reflects the nature of the business, whilst providing a personalised service tailored to each person we help." He added: "It is also important to underline that early intervention is key in this service. This is not just for individuals in crisis, it is so much more and provides comprehensive support on a range of issues."
You can contact Music Minds Matter via their helpline, 0808 802 8008, or by emailing [email protected]