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YMU Group launches mental health support initiative for artists and staff

By | Published on Friday 11 October 2019

Olly Alexander & Martha Kinn

Following World Mental Health Day yesterday, artist management company YMU Group has launched a new mental health and well-being initiative for its clients and staff.

As the debate continues around the responsibilities of the music industry to safeguard the health and wellbeing of its artists and employees, and about the practicalities of achieving such a thing, this is a firm step towards making improvements. Developed with Music Support co-founder Samantha Parker, the new service will offer assessment sessions for YMU-signed artists, referring them to professional support where appropriate. There will also be a well-being drop in facility and a therapeutic support group for employees of the company.

“Our approach is a holistic one and this service is something we’ve been thinking about for quite some time”, says YMU Group Music Director Martha Kinn. “The life of an artist puts pressure on mental and physical health in ways that are impossible to overstate. This new service felt like a logical progression of our management services – we have no problem investing in digital or brand departments, yet there remains a stigma around talking about – let alone spending money on – the mental wellbeing of our clients”.

“It’s great that the cultural conversation around mental health is growing but this is not enough: as an industry, we need to take progressive action”, she continues. “We as managers are the ones best placed to make that difference. It starts with us”.

YMU-managed artist Olly Alexander of Years & Years adds: “I count myself extremely lucky to have management that always put my mental health first. I know first-hand that being an artist can take a toll on your mental health, just like any profession, and over the years I’ve spent in the industry the support from my team has been invaluable. Everybody’s needs are different but I’m so happy to see these measures are being implemented and strongly believe other management companies need to follow this example”.

Other artists signed to YMU including Clean Bandit, Take That, Steve Aoki, Mika, Kurupt FM, Rejjie Snow and Friendly Fires.