The first-ever census has been released by Help Musicians and the Musicians’ Union – entitled the Musicians’ Mental Wellbeing Report – and it has revealed that 30 per cent of musicians in the UK are suffering from poor mental health.
And in fact, 42 per cent of the almost-6,000 people who have taken part in this new research have stated that due to their mental wellbeing, they are thinking about leaving the music industry and changing careers within five years.
“I believe that at the core of every musician’s life is a deep need to find a stable and wonderful creative mind, but the realities of the industry sometimes don’t allow this to happen,” explains Chris Difford, who is a musician himself as well as the new Principal Ambassador of the charity Music Minds Matter – a 24/7 support line for the UK music community.
Breaking down these findings into specific genres, those in the ‘rock and alternative’ category in the census unfortunately come out second-highest with 33 per cent reporting negative mental wellbeing (the same percentage as UK rap), while dance music is the highest overall at 35 per cent. The Musicians’ Mental Wellbeing Report also details how marginalised groups are suffering more – with 43 per cent of LGBTQ+ musicians and 49 per cent of disabled musicians affected.
Detailing what’s to come from these findings and the future work of Help Musicians and Music Minds Matter, Chief Executive Sarah Woods shares: “Through Help Musicians’ sister charity Music Minds Matter we see first-hand the impact that low mental wellbeing can have on the lives and careers of UK musicians and those who work around them.
“Insights from the Musicians’ Census show the need to build positive mental wellbeing for all who work in music but especially with the future generation so we can prevent crises before they happen. We’re delighted that Chris Difford will support us more in the area of mental health, helping raise awareness of the realities of a career in music and the need for more support to ensure positive mental wellbeing. Finally, we would encourage everyone working in music to digest this report and work together so we can continue building an industry with positive mental health for all.”
You can read the full report here.