Recently, Help Musicians UK (a leading independent charity for musicians in the country) conducted a survey alongside the University of Westminster and MusicTank as part of their MAD (Music and Depression) campaign. ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ is the largest survey of its kind undertaken in the UK, with 2,211 musicians taking part, with the majority of respondents (66.2%) between the ages of 18-35 but with a relatively even gender split (55.2% male, 43.9% female). 39% of respondents classed themselves as musicians, with the rest representing DJs, live crew, management and more.
The results suggested that musicians may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression than other members of the general public. 71% of the respondents believed they had suffered from anxiety and panic attacks, while 65% reporting that they’d suffered from depression. Many of the answers claimed that this was due to poor working conditions in the industry, including the difficulty of maintaining a living, anti-social working hours, the inability to plan their time and general exhaustion.
Richard Robinson, Chief Executive of Help Musicians UK said: “Sadly the results of this survey don’t come as a surprise and paint a concerning picture of the conditions for those working in the music industry. This survey is a vital first step in helping us to establish the scale of the problem and it highlights the importance of the next phases of the survey, which will provide us with recommendations for launching the first music industry specific mental health service. As the leading independent charity for musicians we are in unique position to commission this study and be able to look at the impact that working in the music industry has on people’s mental health.”
Help Musicians UK are continuing their research, looking into how working conditions may be affecting the mental health of those working in the music industry. The second set of survey results will be revealed in early 2017 along with a task force set up to help tackle the sensitive issues raised by the reports.
For more information, visit the Help Musicians UK website.