YCAT, the MU, Help Musicians and BAPAM have worked together to provide awareness of mental health resources for musicians.
The Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), Musicians’ Union (MU), Help Musicians and British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) have partnered up in a campaign to raise awareness of mental health resources available for early career musicians.
The month-long campaign runs from 1 to 29 April 2022, and will include guided meditation sessions from Alison Gordon (Mediation Changes Lives), a dedicated mental health and conscious breathing workshop with BAPAM GP Dr Pippa Wheble and one-to-one coaching sessions with Marion Friend MBE. All events and resources will be accessible and free of charge.
Kate Blackstone, project manager at YCAT, said: ‘Early career musicians can often feel like their only sources of mental health advice are their tutors, or other musicians. That’s why we are offering mental health support from qualified and experienced practitioners. I really hope that this can be the beginning of musicians’ journeys into maintaining their mental health in a manageable and positive way.’
Presently, the Musicians’ Union offer support to musicians of all genres, specifically catering to those earlier in their career through the publication of their Young Freelancer’s Guide to Mental Health in the Music Industry, which is free to download for non-members. Members of the Union (including students) also have the opportunity to attend free weekly meditation sessions and access a more comprehensive bank of written resources.
Rose Delcour-Min, education and equalities officer from the MU said: ’Access to health and wellbeing resources are crucial for the longevity of musicians’ careers. We want a culture change where musicians feel empowered to ask for help before reaching crisis point. We’re proud to be working with YCAT and BAPAM, and we hope to continue to deliver on this for our members.’
The tagline for the campaign is ‘Don’t wait till crisis point.’ This is because taking preventative measures by developing healthy mental wellbeing habits has been shown to improve mental health outcomes for musicians further down the line. Joe Hastings, head of Music Minds Matter at Help Musicians UK mentioned the importance of helping musicians to develop healthy habits early in their careers:
’The early part of a musician’s career can be an exciting time, but it can also present significant challenges. Through the insights that we have gathered via our Music Minds Matter service, we understand the importance of prioritising self-care to build and maintain emotional wellbeing and to promote happy and healthy careers. We are really excited to be working with YCAT, BAPAM and the Musicians Union on this important campaign.’
Joining forces with industry leaders to create a campaign will help musicians become more confident in their knowledge of where to find assistance. This is especially important given the impact of pandemic restrictions, as Phoebe Butler, training assistant at BAPAM explains: ’Sadly 70-75% of musicians will experience a mental health problem, and this is on the increase since Covid-19. Building healthy practice at an early stage will help reduce mental health problems and we are delighted to be working with YCAT on this important project.’
Musicians’ Mental Health Month runs from 1 to 29 April 2022. For further information about events, click here.