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Help Musicians launches new mental health-focussed charity

By | Published on Friday 23 September 2022

Music Minds Matter

UK music charity Help Musicians has launched a new standalone charitable organisation specifically focused on supporting mental health in the music community. It’s called Music Minds Matter, named after Help Musicians’ existing service in this domain, which will now be run by the new charity. The restructure follows a 30% increase in calls to the Music Minds Matter helpline, it says.

Moving the mental health service over to the new charity partly recognises that, while Help Musicians itself is focused on supporting musicians in particular, the Music Minds Matter service has been extended to support anyone working in music. It also means that any fundraising activity focused on mental health support will exclusively fund those specific services.

“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”.

The new charity will be chaired by Silvia Montello, who is also CEO of the Association For Electronic Music. She adds: “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”.

“Music brings such joy to so many people”, she goes on, “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”.

As well as Montello, the board of Music Minds Matter is made up of FUGA’s Gareth Mellor, PPL’s Juliette Edwards, United Talent’s Maria Way, Utopia Music’s Melanie Johnson, Amazon Music’s Paul Firth, Warner Music’s Reni Adadevoh and Help Musicians trustee Jim Benner.

“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 partnerships right across the music industry”, says Ainscough.

“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”, he concludes, “and I look forward to working with them”.

More information on Music Minds Matter is available here. You can also call its helpline 24/7 in the UK on 0808 802 8008.