Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Francisco Moreno)

Music

Music Minds Matter: A new platform dedicated to musician's mental health

@SamWKemp

You can’t spend two years locked inside and expect to emerge unchanged. Throughout the pandemic, many of us learned this the hard way. As the effects of the Covid-19 era continue to unspool, one thing is becoming clear: we are in the grip of a nationwide mental health crisis. In 2021, record numbers of children and adults sought professional help from the NHS, citing problems such as anxiety, depression and eating disorders. The sharp rise has led some leading practitioners to call for the government to declare a national health emergency against what is proving to be a second, equally invisible pandemic.

Of those affected by the forced dissolution of public life, musicians have been especially hard hit, many of whom lost their source of income overnight. With the demand for mental health support within the music industry at an all-time high, Help Musicians have decided to launch a new website which aims to offer support to musicians and industry professionals the help they need. We caught up with Joe Hastings, the head of Music Minds Matter, to discuss why he set up the platform.

“We set up Music Minds Matter on the back of research that we did about four or five years ago now, which showed that musicians and people in the industry were experiencing high levels of mental health issues, predominantly depression and anxiety,” Hastings explained. “And what we’ve been doing since the beginning of the pandemic, is looking at how we can ensure that the service grows and is able to offer people what they need. And obviously, that’s changed a lot over the last two years.”

Music Minds Matter is one of the only platforms dedicated to supporting positive mental health among musicians. The website offers users information on mental health, video content from mental health experts and members of the industry who have faced similar challenges, and offers links to local and national support and trained therapists.

“We’re trying to give people a space where they can interact with those difficult subject areas,” Hastings continued. “When we’re inviting people through the platform, they are able to search based on how they’re feeling. So they input how they’re feeling into a search bar, and people will be linked through to videos on the subject areas that they’ve expressed they want to access. Therefore they can interact with other people who’ve had similar experiences and hear how they navigated their way through that.”

So far in 2022, the Help Musicians phone line has seen a 34% increase in calls. I asked Joe why he thinks so many members of the industry are reaching out: “The obstacles that we see commonly are around people’s finances, around people being able to maintain well being, and navigating the business,” he began. “Competition is really fierce in the music industry. There’s a lot of pressure now, coming out of the pandemic, for people to be busy. Those kinds of pressures can have a real impact on people’s mental health.”

If you’re looking to access any of the resources available on Music Minds Matter Explore, you can find the website here. They also run a dedicated mental health support line and service for the whole music community on 0808 802 8008.