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Therapists develop mental health guide for touring

The Music Industry Therapist Collective (MITC), a group of psychotherapists with a background in the live music industry, is seeking funding for a best practice guide tackling mental health issues in the business.

The group is aiming to raise £21,774 over the next 55 days to create an “in-depth, clinically sound practical manual to support and guide all those who struggle with mental health on tour.”

The 300-page Touring and Mental Health Manual will offer guidance on how to handle psychological difficulties that arise from touring, such as loneliness; drug-induced psychosis; performance anxiety; addiction; stress and burn-out; trauma; and post-tour depression.

Agent-turned-psychotherapist Tamsin Embleton, who founded MITC, recently told IQ that the “competitive, turbulent and stressful” nature of touring life, as well as “long working hours, poor boundaries between social and work life, and easy access to drink and drugs” can often make those in the entertainment industry susceptible to mental health-related issues.

“This is a vital and most welcomed resource for our industry and touring community”

“This is a vital and most welcomed resource for our industry and touring community,” comments Eric Mtungwazi, managing director of mental health charity Music Support.

“Understanding how to look after your mental health and wellbeing, and knowing how to pre-empt and respond to some of the unique challenges on the journey, is a critical to thriving and working sustainably in the music industry.”

Nile Rodgers, who will be crowned Artists’ Artist at the Artist and Manager Awards in November, comments that “being away from home and loved ones can be incredibly hard work mentally” while in the fast-paced touring environment.

“Having what is effectively a mental health wellness manual to keep yourself in check is a wonderful initiative,” says Rodgers.

Donations to the Touring and Mental Health Manual can be made here. Rewards including digital and physical copies of the manual, mental health training and a logo on the sponsors’ page of the guide are available for those who donate.

Any funds raised over the target amount will go towards creating a non-crisis mental health fund, offering medium- and long-term therapeutic support to those in need.

Read more about how the music business is fighting mental illness here:

A High Cost: How the biz is fighting back against mental illness

 


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Industry charity Music Support appoints new MD

Music Support, the mental health charity for the UK music industry, has appointed experienced third sector professional Eric Mtungwazi as managing director.

Mtungwazi will be responsible for managing all aspects of the charity’s core services, staff, volunteers and day-to-day business activities.

Music Support, which soft-launched in early 2016, is a registered charity providing help and support for anyone in the music industry suffering from addiction and/or mental health issues. Founded and run by individuals from the music industry with personal experience of these issues, including production manager Andy Franks and artist manager Matt Thomas, Music Support has evolved into a 24/7 helpline offering peer support, Safe Tents at UK festivals and a psychiatric assessment and signposting service. It also offers a discreet crisis management service.

Mtungwazi joins Music Support from City Year UK, a youth social action and education charity, where he was programme director. Prior to that, he spent five years working for Back-Up, a leading charity supporting children and adults affected by spinal cord injury. He is also a former semi-professional footballer and has toured as a singer/songwriter in the UK and overseas.

“My primary focus will be to build on the great work and strong foundations that are already in place”

Eric Mtungwazi says “Music Support is a hugely important support organisation within the music industry, offering a wide range of help and services to individuals suffering from problems arising from mental health or addiction issues.

“My primary focus, with help from the amazing team here, will be to build on the great work and strong foundations that are already in place and to ensure that anyone who needs our help recognises that they are not alone.”

Mtungwazi also pays tribute to Music Support co-founder Samantha Parker, who is leaving her formal position to launch a new venture, Parker Consulting, which aims to provide specialist mental health and wellbeing expertise to the music and entertainment industries. She will continue to act as a consultant to Music Support.

“We also send our best wishes to our co-founder Sam Parker for her new venture,” concludes Mtungwazi, “and look forward to working with her in a consultancy capacity moving forward.”

 


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