Help Musicians, the largest provider of health and welfare support for the British music industry, has announced MUSIC MINDS MATTER - a new campaign for music industry-wide support of the world's first dedicated 24/7 mental health service for people working in music.
The MUSIC MINDS MATTER campaign has launched through a funding platform at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/Music MindsMatter
Help Musicians is Britain’s largest independent music charity, serving the music industry for almost 100 years. It has identified a ‘mental health crisis’ in the industry, which has led the charity to initiate a unique Mental Health Fund with an investment starting at £100,000.
The announcement of the campaign sees HMUK call for ‘arm in arm’ support from the industry and philanthropists to match its investment pound for pound, as a response to the tragic, untimely death of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington.
MUSIC MINDS MATTER will fund the ground-breaking 24/7 mental health helpline and service, launching late 2017, that will combine listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support for those who need it. The charity remains committed to campaigning, educating, and encouraging conversations about mental and emotional wellbeing.
Just doubling the Help Musicians investment, with a minimum of £200k, will allow the mental health service to be sustainable beyond 2018. The charity can then continue to proactively raise money for the new fund, with ambitions for roll out with global partners in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The campaign is already gaining support amongst high profile musicians:
Rou Reynolds, lead singer of Enter Shikari, said: "Whilst creating and playing music has a wonderfully positive influence on mental health, it is not an all encompassing elixir for the vast swathes of mental health problems that our society breeds. The music industry has a dark history with the tragic loss of too many amazing people to suicide, so I’m very happy to hear about Music Minds Matter and support them in all they’re about to do."
Adam Ficek, ex-Babyshambles drummer, said: “From my time spent in the music industry at both grass roots and top level I have seen and personally experienced the struggles within. From the elevation of fame to the collapse of worth, there needs to be a network in place to support the complexities of artistic human suffering within the commercial environment. The Music Minds Matter initiative is long overdue and a warming glow of growth for all those involved in the pursuit of professional musicianship. I thoroughly welcome this initiative from both my position as a psychotherapist and professional musician.”
Matthew Leone, bassist with Madina Lake who toured with Linkin Park in 2007, said: "I’ve had the great fortune of spending time with Chester on Linkin Park’s 'Projekt Revolution'. He was a rare breed of immeasurable talent, and equal humility. He, along with the rest of the band, are among the kindest, sweetest and most embracing artists, particularly when considering the enormity of their success, that we’ve worked with. If a comprehensive, full-service mental health resource like Music Minds Matter had existed, perhaps Chester, his family and the world could have been spared of this tragic loss. In corresponding with Linkin Park's management, I’m confident that we, along with the industry’s support will be able to follow this campaign through to a successful conclusion. This unique service will revolutionise the way musicians and the music industry think about mental health. It’s been a long time in coming and I strongly urge the music community to support this brand new fund. I am also delighted to be joining Help Musicians as their International Music Liaison Executive at this time - it is a cause I feel incredibly strongly about and more so after the tragic death of Chester Bennington."
Richard Robinson, CEO Help Musicians added: “For generations and generations, the music industry has lost some of its brightest talent and future stars due to the scourge of mental health and related issues. The situation is now urgent and we can no longer allow this to continue. We have decided to make this landmark investment as a precursor to a dedicated service – but we cannot undertake this work in isolation. We need the music industry to step up, arm in arm with Help Musicians, and match our support pound for pound, so we are proud to launch the MUSIC MINDS MATTER campaign. The forthcoming specialist 24/7 mental health service will be a global first and go hand in hand with Help Musicians’ traditional health and welfare support, which offers advice and often financial support to people in the industry across a wide range of issues.”
Help Musicians has been seeking to launch a new mental health service since the launch of the Can Music Make You Sick? research study in May 2016, which found that people in the industry are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other related problems.