Help Musicians has announced a new campaign to support a dedicated 24/7 mental health service for people working in music after identifying a "mental health crisis" in the industry.
The organisation - Britain’s largest leading independent music charity - has initiated a unique Mental Health Fund, with an investment starting at £100,000, in the wake of the death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington.
The Music Minds Matter campaign launch sees Help Musicians call for "arm in arm" support from the industry and philanthropists to match its investment, as a response to Bennington's tragic death. The initiative launches at 10am today, with the funding platform at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/MusicMindsMatter
“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," said Help Musicians UK CEO Richard Robinson. "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.
"The forthcoming specialist 24/7 mental health service will be a global first and go hand in hand with Help Musicians’ traditional health and welfare support, which offers advice and often financial support to people in the industry across a wide range of issues.”
Music Minds Matter will fund the helpline and service, launching late 2017, that will combine listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support.
Just doubling the HMUK investment, with a minimum of £200,000, will allow the mental health service to be sustainable beyond 2018. 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.
A trio of artists have spoken out in support of the initiative. Matthew Leone, bassist with Madina Lake, who toured with Linkin Park in 2007, said: "I spent many hours working alongside Chester and he was an incredibly passionate man. I'm sure that this investment and the Music Minds Matter campaign would have met with his approval. Likewise, having spoken to Linkin Park's management, I know that they are thrilled to follow this campaign through to a successful conclusion.
"This unique service will revolutionise the way musicians and the music industry think about mental health. Its been a long time in coming and I strongly urge the music community to support this brand new fund. I am also delighted to be joining Help Musicians as their International Development Executive at this time - it is a cause I feel incredibly strongly about and more so after the tragic death of Chester Bennington."
Enter Shikari singer Rou Reynolds said: "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."
Ex-Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek added: "From the elevation of fame to the collapse of worth, there needs to be a network in place to support the complexities of artistic human suffering within the commercial environment. The Music Minds Matter initiative is long overdue and a warming glow of growth for all those involved in the pursuit of professional musicianship. I thoroughly welcome this initiative from both my position as a psychotherapist and professional musician.”