Music Minds Matter, a mental health support line by charity Help Musicians, has seen demand nearly double in 2021, which the charity said reflects the impact the pandemic continues to have on musicians.
Between 1 January and 30 September, musicians accessing one-on-one counselling increased by 94.4% compared to the same period in 2020.
Music Minds Matter was expanded in April 2021 in reaction to a survey the charity carried out that found 87% of musicians had seen their mental health deteriorate since the start of the pandemic.
The 24/7 support line is staffed by accredited therapists who can refer musicians to therapeutic support via the charity’s clinical partner the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).
The expansion in April added a national network of local support groups and signposting to relevant advice and support. The charity received a funding package for the service from UK music licensing company PPL worth £300,000 across three years.
Help Musicians chief executive James Ainscough said, “It’s so exciting to see live music gradually return, but the rising number of musicians seeking counselling in 2021 highlights that the mental health impact of the pandemic is far from over. In what can already be a very challenging profession, the added pressures of the past 18-months and the uncertainty of what lies ahead while careers are re-built, has created the perfect storm for musicians and their teams who are battling to maintain their mental health.
PPL chief executive officer Peter Leathem said, “These figures make it clear that many in the music industry are still feeling the impact of a very difficult past 18 months. So as live music returns, nightclubs re-open and we return to offices and public spaces, we must continue to support those who are still in need. Music Minds Matter is playing a crucial role in this and we are very proud to help the service continue to deliver excellent care and expand its offer.”