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Music Minds Matter: 24/7 mental health service launches for musicians following Chester Bennington's death

Laura  Barnes
Music Minds Matter: 24/7 mental health service launches for musicians following Chester Bennington's death

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has unveiled the world’s first dedicated 24/7 mental health service for people working in music.

Music Minds Matter will fund a mental health helpline and service that will combine listening, advice and signposting with clinical, medical, therapeutic and welfare support for those who need it.

The campaign is a response to the untimely death of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington, and is already being backed by high profile artists, some of whom had personally worked with the frontman.

HMUK is Britain’s largest independent music charity, serving the music industry for almost 100 years. It has identified a ‘mental health crisis’ in the industry, which has led the charity to initiate a unique Mental Health Fund with an investment starting at £100,000.
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The charity is calling for ‘arm in arm’ support from the industry and philanthropists to match its investment pound for pound. Just doubling the HMUK investment, with a minimum of £200k, will allow the mental health service to be sustainable beyond 2018.

This unique service will revolutionise the way musicians and the music industry think about mental health.

Matthew Leone, bassist with Madina Lake

The charity can then continue to proactively raise money for the new fund, with ambitions for roll out with global partners in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Rou Reynolds, lead singer of Enter Shikari, said: "Whilst creating and playing music has a wonderfully positive influence on mental health, it is not an all encompassing elixir for the vast swathes of mental health problems that our society breeds. The music industry has a dark history with the tragic loss of too many amazing people to suicide, so I’m very happy to hear about MUSIC MINDS MATTER and support them in all they’re about to do."

Matthew Leone, bassist with Madina Lake who toured with Linkin Park in 2007, commented: "I spent many hours working alongside Chester and he was an incredibly passionate man. I'm sure that this investment and the Music Minds Matter campaign would have met with his approval. Likewise, having spoken to Linkin Park's management, I know that they are anxious to follow this campaign through to a successful conclusion.

“This unique service will revolutionise the way musicians and the music industry think about mental health. Its been a long time in coming and I strongly urge the music community to support this brand new fund. I am also delighted to be joining Help Musicians as their International Development Executive at this time - it is a cause I feel incredibly strongly about and more so after the tragic death of Chester Bennington."

We need the music industry to step up, arm in arm with Help Musicians, and match our support pound for pound.

Richard Robinson, CEO of HMUK

Adam Ficek, ex-Babyshambles drummer, said: “From my time spent in the music industry at both grass roots and top level I have seen and personally experienced the struggles within. From the elevation of fame to the collapse of worth, there needs to be a network in place to support the complexities of artistic human suffering within the commercial environment. The Music Minds Matter initiative is long overdue and a warming glow of growth for all those involved in the pursuit of professional musicianship. I thoroughly welcome this initiative from both my position as a psychotherapist and professional musician.”

Richard Robinson, CEO of Help Musicians UK added: “For generations and generations, the music industry has lost some of its brightest talent and future stars due to the scourge of mental health and related issues. The situation is now urgent and we can no longer allow this to continue.

“We have decided to make this landmark investment as a precursor to a dedicated service – but we cannot undertake this work in isolation. We need the music industry to step up, arm in arm with Help Musicians, and match our support pound for pound, so we are proud to launch the MUSIC MINDS MATTER campaign.

“The forthcoming specialist 24/7 mental health service will be a global first and go hand in hand with Help Musicians’ traditional health and welfare support, which offers advice and often financial support to people in the industry across a wide range of issues.”

You can donate to Music Minds Matter via the Virgin Money Giving platform to help the service reach its £200k goal. Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/MusicMindsMatter

Tags: charity , mental health , HMUK , Music Minds Matter , Chester Bennington , mental health service

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