Recently, a new phone line has been launched to help musicians in the U.K. to advise them on their mental health, in case they ever need help. This service will also be available to artist managers, tour crews and record label employees.
How did this helpline come into being? This is essentially a helpline that recently began in U.K. namely Music Minds Matter which aims to provide an understanding ear to a huge portion of people in the music industry with mental health problems. It is fairly simple, people can call and connect with someone who can give them advice on issues like debt and welfare or anything else that may be troubling them. Perhaps what is great, is that Help Musicians UK is investing nearly £1m in this helpline.
Let’s find out from Rob Aston, who is a 23-year-old former drum-and-bass MC, how this helpline helps musicians. As reported to independent, Aston took a few calls while he was at Music Minds Matter. His first call was with a struggling band manager who felt lost and needed someone to talk to followed by an older musician who phoned to say he was going to kill himself. Aston talked to him and got his address to send him an ambulance. This call made him take a walk afterward to clear his head a little bit. Well, we are sure that, it may not be easy feeling the pressure that, something may go wrong any minute.
While some shifts for Aston involved continuous phone calls, there were others that were quiet. One other intriguing instance that Aston faced was while he was having tea and browsing the web. He received an email from an electronic musician experiencing a host of problems including anxiety and depression. To this he said –
“It’s a huge step for someone just to send that, they clearly need to talk.”
Mental health has now become a large issue in the music industry. Artists such as Zayn Malik are now talking about anxiety and depression. To add to that suicides of Chester Bennington of Linkin park amongst others have also brought issues like anxiety and depression to the frontlines.
The chief executive to help Musicians, Richard Robinson says that this idea has definitely been brewing for several years. The final push came in 2016 when the group commissioned the University of Westminster in London to research mental health issues in the industry. Of an estimated 2,200 people who participated in the survey involved violinists and folk singers, 71% experiences anxiety and panic, while 68.5% suffered from depression. The report on the survey resulted in one inference i.e. “Music making is therapeutic, but making a career out of music is destructive.” As reported by Independent.
Sally Gross of the University of Westminster, who conducted the survey, added that it is not just the music industry that needs to act. Mental health services will require government funding and there is definitely a better need for education on the realities of a life as a musician.
This helpline definitely is one step further in helping musicians with their mental health, however, Richard Robinson has urged the global music industry to support the Music Minds Matter endeavor to replicate it.
We definitely think that Music Minds Matter is a great solution for musicians and their crew, what do you think? Tell us below!