This year, the charity's helpline has seen a 30% increase in calls, signalling an ongoing need for increased mental health support. Creation of the new charity will mean all fundraising income generated for mental health by the charity is solely dedicated towards improving mental health.
Silvia Montello, CEO, Association For Electronic Music (AFEM), and existing Help Musicians trustee, has been announced as the first chair of Music Minds Matter.
The new board will be made up of: Gareth Mellor, global head of B2B Marketing, FUGA; Juliette Edwards, deputy chief people officer, Talent and Wellbeing, PPL; Maria Wray, HR director, United Talent Agency; Melanie Johnson, head of Investor Services, Utopia Music; Paul Firth, director of International, Amazon Music, and Reni Adadevoh, senior vice president, Legal and Business Affairs, Warner Music International. Jim Benner, one of Help Musicians' existing trustees will also serve on the new board.
This World Mental Health Day (October 10), Music Minds Matter will bring together influencers within the music industry to lead a discussion about best practice in mental health support and how to drive positive change. Mental Health in Music: Leading positive change will take place at Abbey Road Studio 2.
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. 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 and I look forward to working with them.”
Silvia Montello, CEO, AFEM and chair of Music Minds Matter, said: “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; 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.”
Music Minds Matter was established in 2017 as a 24/7 mental health support line for all who work in music across the UK. It has since evolved to encompass the around the clock support line as well as peer support groups, self-care sessions and a comprehensive music-focused mental health guidance website, Music Minds Matter Explore.