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"We wanted to create something where people who know the various challenges of the business can help others work through their problems," explains founder Andy Franks
By IQ on 28 Apr 2016
A new organisation that will provide specialist care for music industry executives, artists, crew and technicians is already helping a number of individuals after being quietly launched in April.
Music Support is the brainchild of production manager Andy Franks, artist manager Matt Thomas, musicians Mark Richardson and Rachel Lander (both recovering addicts) and addiction counsellor Johan Sorensen, who, having experienced dark times themselves, set about creating a network that they believe can vastly improve the mental health support for available for music business employees and freelancers, from apprentices to company bosses.
“There are obviously some great organisations out there – the likes of Samaritans, for example, do a fantastic job – but working in the music industry can involve some very unique circumstances, so we wanted to create something where people who know the various challenges of the business can help others work through their problems,” explains Franks.
Music Support has launched with a 24/7 phone line where individuals who are struggling with any kind of issue can speak to an operator, who will find the relevant expert counsellor to call that individual back. The organisation promotes other services such as Samaritans, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and SANE, but it aims to help callers deal with alcoholism, addiction, emotional health, mental health, stress and other issues.
“Working in venues where there are thousands of people enjoying themselves can sometimes be the loneliest place, and we have people at the end of the phone who understand that”
“Usually people are called back within a matter of hours,” says Franks. “We’ve been talking about the need for a service like this for a long time, but at long last we have it. If you’re lying in a bunk on a bus travelling through eastern Europe on a tour feeling depressed, it can feel like hell – I should know, I’ve been there. But Music Support gives you the chance to speak to someone who knows what you are going through, so we’re hoping that word can spread quickly about the new service.”
Despite a very low key launch, Music Support has already helped a number of people since it launched in mid-April, but Franks and the other founders are determined that word about the service should spread throughout the industry as quickly and widely as possible.
“It can be a harsh environment, working away from loved ones for months on end, and it’s understandable that some people turn to drink or drugs,” adds Franks. “Working in venues where there are thousands of people enjoying themselves can sometimes be the loneliest place, and we have people at the end of the phone who understand that.”