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Mental Health Helpline Launched for U.K. Music Industry

Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington
Kevin Winter / Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

A 24-hour mental health helpline focusing on those working in the music industry has opened in the U.K. in the aftermath of the high-profile suicides of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell and Linkin Park counterpart Chester Bennington. And the charity behind the initiative is currently making plans to extend the service to the U.S. and elsewhere.

The issues of stress, suicide and other mental and emotional problems among musicians was thrust into the spotlight when Cornell took his own life in May and then Bennington did the same in July. In response, the Music Minds Matter awareness campaign was launched by Help Musicians UK (HMUK). The new helpline has been set up in order to offer support and advice to people who work on and off stage.

“During 2016, HMUK experienced a 22% increase in requests for help from musicians across the U.K., and in total last year, the charity spent £1.9 million helping these musicians through direct and indirect financial support,” a website statement reads. “With a £100,000 investment confirmed by HMUK, the charity is calling for ‘arm in arm’ support from the industry and philanthropists to match it pound for pound. Once successfully implemented in the U.K., the charity has ambitions to roll out the service with global partners in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Music Minds Matter is a support line and service for the whole UK music community. Launched in December 2017, Music Minds Matter is the industry’s most comprehensive service yet – linking advice, signposting, clinical pathways and professional therapeutic services to Help Musicians UK’s (HMUK) traditional grants for musicians in need.

“With 96 years of experience, HMUK understands the complexity of working in music and recognizes the need for support to reflect the nature and unique challenges those in the industry can face. If you want someone to talk to, or even explore avenues for ongoing support, get in touch, anytime. We’re here to help.”

The service is available by calling 0808 802 8008 or emailing MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk – although email support is on the basis of 48-hour turnaround.

 

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