Help Musicians launches mental health charity Music Minds Matter

·3-min read
A microphone against a blue/purple background
Music Minds Matter will now focus solely on mental health (Picture: Pexels/ Suvan Chowdhury).

Music Minds Matter, a subsidiary of UK charity Help Musicians, has relaunched to become a single-focus organisation dedicated to mental health support.

An inaugural board of trustees will “provide insight and focus to drive awareness to the whole music industry and help improve access to necessary mental health support,” according to the charity’s website.

The past few weeks have seen waves of tour cancellations from artists who have prioritised their mental health, including Sam Fender, Wet Leg and Arlo Parks.

“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,” Silvia Montello, Chair of Music Minds Matter, said in a press release.

“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 charity also reported a 30% increase in calls this year, “showing the continuing and growing need for support”.

James Ainscough, Chief Executive at Help Musicians, said: “Since Music Minds Matter launched in 2017, we have seen the need for mental health support continue to grow year-on-year.

“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.”

Last week, Sam Fender announced he was cancelling his upcoming tour dates to look after his mental health.

“It seems completely hypocritical of me to advocate discussion on mental health and write songs about it if I don’t take time to look after my own mental health,” Fender wrote on Instagram.

Earlier this week, Arlo Parks also took time off from her US tour, sharing that she found herself in a “very dark place, exhausted and dangerously low,” from pushing herself “unhealthily, further and harder than I should’ve.”

Last week also saw Wet Leg prioritise mental health during their US tour, sharing that “it all got a bit on top of us and we just couldn’t quite manage to get back on that plane”.

One day later, Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence said he was pulling out of the duo’s Australian tour to “look after myself”.

The recent cancellations followed news in July that Shawn Mendes would be finishing his world tour early, adding that he “wasn’t totally prepared for the toll that being on the road would take” on him.