Industry backs mental health initiative
Friday, 8 November 2019
music-support-logopreviewMusic Support is leading the new initiative
UK - Music industry charity Music Support has partnered with 10 companies and organisations to train industry professionals in mental health first aid (MHFA).
The drive has been prompted by an in-house initiative led by the charity in 2018, when it invested in MHFA training for its own staff and volunteers.
Music Support will work with The Event Safety Shop (TESS), a live event production safety service; industry charities Help Musicians and The BRIT Trust - the charitable arm of BPI; PLASA; The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF); Production Park; Backstage Academy; PSA and its benevolent fund, Stage Hand; and Thrive: Mental Wellbeing - an NHS-endorsed app designed to help people combat stress.
Matt Thomas, Music Support’s co-founder and chair of trustees, comments: “MHFA training is becoming a priority for businesses across many industries and sectors, both nationally and internationally. We’ve received a lot of support and encouragement from partners about the prospect of Music Support delivering training, and MHFA England [the only provider of licensed mental health first aid instructor training in England] is currently campaigning for the Government to put mental and physical health on an even footing. This is gaining traction from politicians and is likely to become an area of statutory responsibility for employers in the future. Now is the time for our industry to get in ahead of the curve.”
He adds: “Ultimately, we’d like this initiative to be an industry-wide adoption of good practice which will significantly improve mental health literacy and the industry’s capacity to prevent and respond.”
Claire Gevaux, Help Musicians Director of Programme, says: "We have been working closely with the team at Music Support for the past year and it's exciting to announce this new collaboration which will bring vital resources in the form of Mental Health First Aid training to the sector. We recognised the entrepreneurial approach of Music Support to build a network of Mental Health First Aiders as a step in the right direction towards supporting a safe working environment for musicians so that they thrive in their working lives.
“We’re delighted that our catalytic investment in this training programme has received such collective support from a diverse array of sector partners and that we’ve been able to offer our National Grants Programme funded organisations a more holistic package of support.”
Maggie Crowe OBE, BPI Director of Events & Charities and BRIT Trust Trustee, adds: “Music Support is doing important work to help promote mental wellbeing in our industry, and The BRIT Trust is proud to be supporting this exciting initiative which will not only help to create better awareness and understanding of mental health in the workplace, but will also support the creative environment for future talent."
TESS director, Simon James, concludes: “With three decades working in live events, I have too many personal experiences witnessing people suffering with mental health issues without adequate support. We work in a pressured environment and we’re very proud to do what we can in assisting Music Support in bringing empathetic, professional help into the music industry.”
PLASA has been approached for comment.
(Jim Evans)

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