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Mind launches new mental health guides of the music sector

By | Published on Wednesday 12 May 2021


Mental health charity Mind is marking Mental Health Awareness Week by launching a new series of resources specifically aimed at people working in music, and in particular the electronic music industry.

Created in partnership with music companies including Ninja Tune, Paradigm, Percolate and POLY, there are specific guides for organisations, managers, employees and freelancers which, together, provide “vital information on how those working within the dance music industry can access support, look after their mental health and support colleagues”. The guides also include specific advice for those affected by the ongoing COVID pandemic.

Explaining the motivation for the project, the charity says: “According to research into the mental health and wellbeing of people in the electronic music industry, carried out in 2019 – before the coronavirus pandemic – musicians are more prone to mental health problems than the general population and may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression, making this a timely and vital resource”.

“Anecdotally”, it adds, “Mind often hears from those working within the music industry how factors such as insecure income, difficulty achieving a work/life balance, pressure from fans and labels, poor diet, lack of sleep and access to alcohol and drugs can all take their toll on wellbeing and mental health”.

Launching the resources, Mind’s Emma Mamo says: “We know that working in the music industry can be very rewarding and offers many opportunities. However, it comes with a unique set of challenges, including irregular hours, financial insecurity and high pressure – all of which may have an effect on people’s mental health and wellbeing. Coronavirus restrictions, Brexit, and fluctuating income have only made existing problems in the industry worse, so it’s important that people across the industry can access vital support if and when needed”.

“For too long mental health problems and other related issues like alcohol and substance use within the music industry have been neglected and even normalised”, she goes on. “Mind’s new resource has been created with contributors from every corner of the music business to make sure the information is as useful and relevant as possible to anyone working within the industry, including artists, DJs, organisers, promoters, creative freelancers and other employees. We’re grateful for their support and dedication in helping to make sure no one across the industry faces a mental health problem alone”.

Confirming Ninja Tune’s involvement in this project, the label’s Kyra Santiago adds: “No two days are ever the same in the music industry. With such a huge diversity of roles, responsibilities and relationships, everyone’s wellbeing can be affected in so many different ways. This last year has definitely been a challenge to say the least, and we know we’re not alone in saying that. As a label, we had to quickly adapt our ways of working when the pandemic hit. We’re incredibly grateful to Mind, our partners and everyone who has contributed to the creation of these guides to make them happen and we hope that they provide support to anyone and everyone who needs it”.

Alongside the new online resources Mind is also staging a panel discussion on 15 Jun with Joe Hastings from Help Musicians, and Sally Anne Gross and Dr George Musgrave from the University of Westminster, who co-authored the report ‘Can Music Make You Sick? Music And Depression’.

You can access the new resources here.