World Mental Health Day 2017: ISM's views

Two in three of us have experienced a mental health problem in our lifetime. Official figures show that 61% of mental health problems go untreated.

Every year, on 10 October, the World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day.

Raising awareness of these challenges can be the first step towards tackling the problem and the day not only provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work but also focuses on what needs to be done to improve mental health care for everyone worldwide.

Mental health problems are not picky about who they affect - it can happen to anyone, regardless of their background, job and lifestyle - and musicians are not exempt from this.

For musicians in particular, there are specific aspects about our busy lifestyles that can affect mental health or present challenges when trying to cope with pre-existing issues. In 2016, Help Musicians UK conducted a survey of musicians’ wellbeing which found that: 67% said they had on occasion suffered depression or other psychological problems and 75% said they had experienced performance anxiety

The ISM is fully committed to supporting the mental wellbeing of those working in the music profession.

In our Manifesto for Musicians published in the lead-up to the General Election in May 2017, we made a core commitment towards supporting mental wellbeing.

As part of World Mental Health day we are sharing our resources and sign posting to resources colleagues in the industry have produced to help you.

The ISM has a dedicated health and wellbeing area on our website which highlights specific areas of support for those working as musicians, including content available to non-members and members:

The Music Managers Guide to Mental Health

This is a free guide from the Music Managers Forum and Music Support which includes chapters on anxiety, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, work balance and boundaries, a note from Mind on healthy workplaces and a directory of useful helplines and websites.

Musicians’ health: how BAPAM and the ISM Members Fund can help

The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) is a unique charity set up to help musicians and other performers to stay healthy. Here we outline the ways in which BAPAM helps musicians to stay healthy and, when problems occur, return to health.

ISM members also have access to resources aimed towards supporting mental wellbeing include:

  • Health issues: where to go for help
  • Hearing advice for musicians
  • Discounted hearing services for our members
  • Counselling helpline
  • Healthy Lifestyle for Musicians
  • Healthy Playing

The ISM is committed to removing the stigma around talking about mental health and is committed to working across the sector to ensure this is achieved.

If you are encountering mental health difficulties, immediate support is available from fantastic organisations Mind and Sane, who are both readily available to give emotional support and information to those in need.

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