Blog: The Empowered Musician - Rachel Jepson
It is so refreshing to see the subject of empowerment within the music industry being discussed more and more, specifically in relation to mental health.
I am a qualified counsellor and have been involved in the music industry for over 18 years. I am a singer and a songwriter and have been part of many bands and music projects over the years, including as a session singer and been a backing vocalist for various musicians. I’ve featured on dance records and am currently one half of an acoustic folk duo. When I’m writing lyrics, I take a lot from my own experiences and of those around me, especially when it comes to mental health struggles. I too have suffered with depression and anxiety on and off for a long time. Whilst I’m not blaming the music industry for these issues, some of the experiences I’ve had have contributed to my struggles over the years. The music industry can be a wonderful place, but the pitfalls are huge and can be damaging to any musician or music industry professional, no matter what their position is in the industry.
I work as a counsellor with musicians and other music industry professionals. I’ve written articles for publications such as Therapy Today about mental health and the music industry, and I meet up with Help Musicians UK and other music charities on a regular basis talking at conferences for various music organisations. I have also hosted a radio show called ‘Mind Over Music’ interviewing musicians on their experiences of mental health.
I’ve met some wonderful musicians whilst on the show. I have been very fortunate to have had guests who have willingly shared their struggles and openly discussed the issues in the music industry that may have caused some of their depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
For me, the empowerment comes with raising awareness of mental health in the music industry. By making mental health an everyday discussion, it removes some of the stigma surrounding depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, and many other issues, and allows people to feel they can be accepted and find the help they need.
If you’re a musician or someone working in the music industry who struggles with their mental health, it is important that you talk to someone you trust and feel comfortable with, whether that’s a professional, or someone you know on a personal basis. Trust me, there are many others involved in the music industry who have felt the same way as you have. Together we can empower one another by bringing our struggles to the surface.
Rachel will be speaking on the Looking after yourself panel at The Empowered Musician on Thursday 4 October. Find out about all The Empowered Musician panels here.