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BAPAM, Help Musicians, MU and YCAT Launch Mental Health Month for Early Career Musicians

The Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) are partnering with the MU, Help Musicians and British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) to raise awareness of mental health resources available to early career musicians.

Published: 04 April 2022 | 11:58 AM
Cello, violin and saxophone against a bright blue background.
“Access to health and wellbeing resources is crucial for the longevity of musicians’ careers.” Photo credit: Shutterstock

The month-long campaign runs from 1 April to 29 April, and will include guided meditation sessions from Alison Gordon (Meditation Changes Lives), a dedicated mental health and conscious breathing workshop with BAPAM GP Dr Pippa Wheble, and 1-2-1 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.”

Access to health and wellbeing resources is crucial

Presently, the MU 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 MU (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 Musicians’ Union said:

“Access to health and wellbeing resources is 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, Help Musicians and BAPAM, and we hope to continue to deliver on this for our members.”

Taking preventative measures

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 the Musicians’ Union on this important campaign.”

Helping build knowledge on where to find assistance

Joining forces with industry leaders to create an exciting 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

Musicians’ Mental Health Month runs from April 1st to April 29th, 2022. For further information about events, visit YCAT’s event page.

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