Help Musicians UK’s service will go live later this year and offer listening, advice, medical and welfare support to anyone working in music.

Photo of musicians

A 24/7 mental health service for people working in the music industry is to launch in late 2017.

Run by independent music charity Help Musicians UK (HMUK), the helpline and service – said to be a world-first – will combine listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support.

HMUK has already pledged £100k to the service, and called on the wider sector to support the initiative via a new funding campaign, MUSIC MINDS MATTER.

“Just doubling the HMUK investment, with a minimum of £200k, will allow the mental health service to be sustainable beyond 2018,” a HMUK spokesperson said.

“The charity can then continue to proactively raise money for the new fund, with ambitions for roll out with global partners in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.”

HMUK has also promised to match any investment from the industry and philanthropists into the scheme pound for pound.

Can music make you sick?

The helpline’s announcement follows a survey by HMUK of 2,200 professional musicians last year, which found people working in the industry are three times more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other related problems.

In addition, research by two University of London academics suggests one in three professional musicians have experienced an eating disorder at some point in their life, and a musician’s unpredictable lifestyle exacerbates mental health challenges.

Commenting on the new helpline, Richard Robinson, CEO of Help Musicians UK, said: “For generations and generations, the music industry has lost some of its brightest talent and future stars due to the scourge of mental health and related issues. The situation is now urgent and we can no longer allow this to continue.

“We have decided to make this landmark investment as a precursor to a dedicated service – but we cannot undertake this work in isolation.

“We need the music industry to step up, arm in arm with Help Musicians, and match our support pound for pound, so we are proud to launch the MUSIC MINDS MATTER campaign.”

Rou Reynolds, lead singer of rock band Enter Shikari, added: “Whilst creating and playing music has a wonderfully positive influence on mental health, it is not an all-encompassing elixir for the vast swathes of mental health problems that our society breeds.

“The music industry has a dark history with the tragic loss of too many amazing people to suicide, so I’m very happy to hear about MUSIC MINDS MATTER and support them in all they’re about to do.”