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Help Musicians leads first academic study on the music industry's mental health

A huge step in fighting stigma and starting a conversation

  • Sydney Megan Jow
  • 29 August 2016

There is a growing and concerning issue surrounding the mental health of music industry members. Heavy touring schedules and constant, extreme demands have pushed many artists like Ben Pearce to cancel shows due to depression, Sasha to open up about anxiety attacks and other psychological ailments. Despite mental health issues being a very real issue, it still faces constant stigma and is often ignored, leaving those suffering without aid.

Help Musicians, a prominent UK charity, has launched a new campaign called MAD, standing for Music And Depression. The driving plan is to catalyze more artists to open up about their battles with mental and emotional wellness by raising awareness and starting conversations between key industry figures.

MAD will also lead the first academic study analyzing the relationship between music industry lifestyle and psychological or emotional turmoil. The case will be headed by the University of Westminster, enlisting Dr. George Musgrave and musician Sally Gross. Giving physical, readable data to the issue has the potential to change the reputation of mental illness in the music industry.

Absurd travel schedules, constant partying, onerous public appearances and extreme highs and lows easily can accelerate the effects of depression, anxiety, addiction and more. A number of artists, such as Ben Pearce, Moby and Benga have publicly opened up about their psychological afflictions and the exacerbation DJ routines have caused.

Learn more about Help Musicians and support the MAD campaign here.

Sydney is Mixmag's US Digital Content Editor. Follow her on Twitter here

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