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Highlights and Recording Available From Mental Health First Aid in the Music Industry - an Open Discussion

Earlier this week the MU’s Live, Theatre and Music Writers Official Natalie Witts-Kilshaw attended an expert panel, hosted by Music Support, discussing mental health first aid in the music industry and the recording is now available to watch back.

Published: 18 May 2023 | 12:25 PM
Two young Black musicians sat talking to each other in a recording studio.
The event provided a platform for engaging in discussions on the significance of Mental Health First Aid in the music industry. Image credit: Shutterstock.

During Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, Music Support, a charity dedicated to supporting individuals in the music and live events industry affected by mental health and addiction, hosted a thought-provoking event centred around the importance of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in our industry.

The event brought together industry experts, including Norman Beecher from Music Support, Matt Bagshaw from Festivall Services, and the MU’s Natalie Witts-Kilshaw, who shared their insights and experiences related to MHFA training.

Discussion Highlights

The event provided a platform for engaging in discussions on the significance of Mental Health First Aid in the music industry. The insights shared by Norman, Matt, Natalie and other industry experts left a lasting impact on participants, who delved into various areas related to Mental Health First Aid. The conversation revolved around the following key discussion points:

  1. Reasons for undertaking the MHFA course and personal motivations
  2. Shared experiences and valuable learnings acquired from the training
  3. Transformative effects of the course on individual approaches to mental health support
  4. Practical application of knowledge gained from MHFA training in personal and professional contexts
  5. Shifts in attitudes and approaches toward assisting others as a result of the training
  6. Hopes and aspirations for advancing mental health initiatives in the industry
  7. Exploring the theme of anxiety within the context of Mental Health Awareness Week

Rewatch the event recording via Music Support.


Learn more about the experts

  • Norman Beecher, Senior Learning and Development Specialist, Music Support - Prior to joining Music Support, Norman spent 10 years working as Learning and Development specialist for the leading UK addiction charity, Forward Trust. He also runs his own private counselling practice. Person-Centred Therapy is at the heart of Norman’s work, supported by various approaches, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Twelve Step Facilitation. Norman is an approved MHFA England instructor and certified recovery specialist. 
  • Matt Bagshaw, Business Development Manager, Festivall Services - Matt joined event staffing company, Festivall Services, in 2022 after a few years of freelance work alongside his full-time job. Initially from a Banking background as a Mortgage Advisor through to working with estate agents and partnerships, welfare has always been the key to a happy, healthy and successful business; he has also recently acquired his Mental Health First Aid Qualification.
  • Natalie Witts-Kilshaw – Live, Theatre and Music Writers Official, The MU - Before working at the MU, Nat, a jazz graduate from Trinity Laban, was a freelance trombone player, educator and arranger and enjoyed a busy freelance career for over 15 years playing and recording with renowned pop, jazz and classical artists and performing on numerous West End shows. Nat is now the MU’s Live, Theatre and Music Writers Official and has a keen personal and professional interest in mental health and well-being. Nat has been a Mental Health First Aider for four years.

More about Music Support

Founded in 2016 by individuals with first-hand experience in the music industry, Music Support is a charity dedicated to providing help and support to those affected by mental ill-health and addiction. Their comprehensive range of services includes a helpline, Mental Health First Aid training, addiction and recovery workshops, and safe hubs at festivals.

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