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Musicians are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, suggests new survey

Laura  Barnes
Musicians are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, suggests new survey

Help Musicians UK (HMUK) has revealed the results of its 'Can Music Make You Sick' survey – the largest of its kind to date in the UK.

The findings have revealed some worrying stats about musicians working in the industry today.

A staggering 71% of respondents believed they have experienced anxiety and panic attacks, and 65% reported they had suffered from depression.

HMUK says these figures suggest that musicians may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression compared to the general public.
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Respondents attributed this to the poor working conditions within the industry including: the difficulty of sustaining a living, anti-social working hours, exhaustion and the inability to plan their time/future.

‘Can Music Make You Sick’, is the largest survey of its kind in the UK to date, with 2,211 musicians taking part. The majority of respondents (66.2%) were between the ages of 18-35, with a relatively even gender split (55.2% male, 43.9% female).

“Sadly the results of this survey don’t come as a surprise and paint a concerning picture of the conditions for those working in the music industry,” commented HMUK chief executive Richard Robinson.

“This survey is a vital first step in helping us to establish the scale of the problem and it highlights the importance of the next phases of the survey, which will provide us with recommendations for launching the first music industry specific mental health service.

“As the leading independent charity for musicians we are in unique position to commission this study and be able to look at the impact that working in the music industry has on people’s mental health.”

The survey is part of HMUK’s ongoing Music and Depression Campaign. You can find out more about the campaign and read the study in more detail at

HMUK is not the only organisation looking at launching services to help musicians.

Last week music marketing agency Quite Great announced that it has teamed up with specialist psychotherapist Helen Brice to launch a new service aimed at helping musicians overcome the day-to-day stresses and strains of the music industry. Read more about it here.

Tags: Help Musicians UK , music and depression campaign , HMUK , depression

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