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Mental Health Awareness Week 2023: MU Resources and Support

To mark this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week we’re sharing information and resources about what the MU does to support mental health and wellbeing.

Published: 15 May 2023 | 10:00 PM Updated: 18 May 2023 | 12:12 PM
Young woman deep in thought wearing yellow headphones against a warm yellow background.
MU members can support their body and mind with free sessions of the Feldenkrais method, meditation and yoga practice. Image credit: Shutterstock.

Mental Health Awareness Week commences Monday 15 May and below, we’ve highlighted some exclusive member benefits and external resources you may find helpful.

Mental Health First Aid Training

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2023, Music Support, the charity that helps those who work in music and live events affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction, hosted an open discussion surrounding the importance of Mental Health First Aid in the music industry.

Norman Beecher, the charity’s Senior Learning and Development Specialist and Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England instructor, provided an overview of their fully-accredited MHFA training course, which they have delivered to more than 400 industry peers.

Norman was also joined by Music Support MHFA Alumni Matt Bagshaw of Festivall Services and the MU’s Live, Theatre and Music Writers Official Natalie Witts-Kilshaw, who shared their reasons for taking the training, how they found it and how it has impacted them, both professionally and personally.

You can read more about this and watch the recording back via our news story.

The MU has also trained 24 members of staff in Mental Health First Aid since 2019 and we offer courses, webinars and training sessions throughout the year to empower members too.

Free weekly wellbeing sessions from the MU

MU members can support their body and mind with free sessions of the Feldenkrais method, meditation and yoga practice. These sessions are delivered by musicians and tailored to musicians’ needs and experience, find out more and sign up via our Wellbeing Practice and Training page.

Member Ben Haines has been a regular at the MU’s Meditation Sessions, which originally started during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic due to the enormous impact it had on the mental health of our members. In his insightful blog, he shares how these sessions have transformed his playing and helped his anxiety.

The MU has also launched a Peer Support Group for music teachers, in partnership with Tonic Rider and Help Musicians. If you’d like to learn more, facilitator Adam Ficek shared his reflections on being a musician who teaches, the impact of the pandemic, and the power of peer support networks in an exclusive blog earlier this year. Similarly, Glyn Mon Hughes has also recently written for the MU on how peripatetic teachers are coping after lockdown, the cost of living crisis and the ongoing erosion of music provision in schools.

New additions to our support pages

We’ve added some new links to our Mental Health Support for Musicians page, including some that focus on support for young people such as Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), The Mix, Give Us a Shout, and more. Full details are below:

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is a suicide prevention charity that runs life-saving services to people struggling with life alongside national campaigns and community networks. CALM’s helpline and webchat are open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.
  • The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people on everything from addiction to homelessness to ill mental health. They run an online community, confidential helpline and counselling service.
  • Give Us a Shout provides free and confidential 24/7 text support to young people experiencing a mental health crisis.
  • Childline is a free, private, confidential service for young people to talk about anything online or on the phone. Childline counsellors are trained staff and volunteers of all ages and from all different backgrounds, and the service is provided by the NSPCC.
  • Young Minds provides support and tools for young people to look after their mental health, and resources for parents and those who work with young people.
  • Muslim Youth Helpline offers non judgmental, confidential, faith and culturally sensitive support by phone, live chat, WhatsApp and email. They work 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Get advice and support on mental health and wellbeing

Discover a wealth of advice and resources to help musicians to look after their mental health and wellbeing.

Get advice and support on mental health and wellbeing

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