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The evolution of Music Minds Matter comes amid a spate of tour cancellations by artists due to mental health concerns
By James Hanley on 22 Sep 2022
Help Musicians has created a new single-focus charity, Music Minds Matter, to support the mental health of all who work in music across the UK.
Earlier this week, BRIT Award-winning singer Arlo Parks became the latest artist to pull tour dates due to mental health concerns, following similar cancellations from Shawn Mendes, Sam Fender, Russ, Wet Leg and Disclosure.
Music Minds Matter’s first board of trustees will provide insight and focus to drive awareness and help improve access to necessary mental health support. Association For Electronic Music (AFEM) CEO Silvia Montello has been announced as the new charity’s first chair.
“Having worked in music my entire career, I have sadly seen and experienced first-hand the devastating impact on the mental health of too many great colleagues, friends and artists,” says Montello. “Music brings such joy to so many people; we need to ensure that no-one involved in creating and sharing it across the music-loving community is left to suffer the effects of stressful, unhealthy and often precarious livelihoods, and is able to share in that joy and to thrive in their own daily endeavours.”
The new board will be made up of: Gareth Mellor (FUGA); Juliette Edwards (PPL); Maria Wray (UTA); Melanie Johnson (Utopia Music); Paul Firth (Amazon Music) and Reni Adadevoh (Warner Music International). Jim Benner, one of Help Musicians existing trustees will also serve on the board.
“We have seen the need for mental health support continue to grow year-on-year”
Music Minds Matter was established in 2017 as a 24/7 mental health support line for all who work in music across the UK, and has since evolved to encompass peer support groups, self-care sessions and a music-focused mental health guidance website, Music Minds Matter Explore.
“Since Music Minds Matter launched in 2017, we have seen the need for mental health support continue to grow year-on-year,” says Help Musicians CEO James Ainscough. “Musicians and those who work in music have been through an incredibly difficult time during the pandemic. And, sadly, coming out the other side is proving just as challenging, if not more. So the time is right to set up Music Minds Matter as a single-focus charity.
“With the full backing of the Help Musicians team and resources, the Music Minds Matter board will have the freedom to drive forward our work on mental health, so we can reach more of those who need our support, and build vital partnership right across the music industry. Silvia and the new board of trustees bring the wealth of knowledge, understanding and passion needed to guide Music Minds Matter in this new and exciting phase and I look forward to working with them.”
Music Minds Matter will bring together significant influencers within the music industry at Abbey Road Studio 2 on 10 October for World Mental Health Day to lead a discussion about best practice in mental health support and how to drive positive change.
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