10th October is that time of the year acknowledged as World Mental Health Day. Of course, we know that mental health and wellbeing is part and parcel of every day – and for every one of us – albeit in different ways. Being reminded of its importance is perhaps what gives these ‘tags or labels’ their value, and this year, the theme, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, is ‘Mental health is a universal human right’.
It’s a fundamental principle, yet there are specific patterns of disadvantage and inequality affecting some people and groups more than others that have arguably changed little over the decades, and across the world.
The impact of poverty, racism and discrimination (as well as access to healthcare), especially within the music industry, has been powerfully documented by the recent joint 2023 Musician’ Census[i] and the Black Lives in Music reports[ii] along with general publications by the Centre for Mental Health, and the Mental Health Foundation.
As music creators, with all the unique potential stressors – isolation, creative blocks, physical strain, performance anxiety, social media criticisms, micro-aggression, lack of regular income, to name a few – can be a heavy burden.
And that’s without the challenges of increasingly high bills, health concerns, family & other relationships in an ever demanding local, regional and global environment.
It’s understandable then that sometimes feelings of powerlessness and overwhelm might arise. At this point of the year, when the warmth of the Sun is diminishing and light decreases, we might feel this more acutely.
As a PRS member, if you want to have a space – just for you – to talk through whatever is going on, then get in touch with Music Minds Matter. Our partnership with them means you can access support 24/7 and speak with a qualified counsellor. Click here to find out more.
If you are struggling financially, you can also apply to us. We are offering assistance to PRS members who face financial hardship during the winter months because of the increasing costs of general living, or are struggling to meet typical household bills, or have other urgent needs. To find out more about our Winter Crisis Scheme click here.
Whatever your situation, however you are feeling, remember, we are the PRS Members’ Fund, we hear you, we are here for you.
Athena Pite, PRS Members’ Fund Welfare & Development Officer
[i] Musicians’ Census Financial Insight Report (September 2023) – Musicians’ Union and Help Musicians
[ii] Being Black in the Music Industry – various reports – Black Lives in Music (September 2021)