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Musicians' Union Takes Part in Mental Health Event in Parliament

The Performers' Alliance APPG, made up of the Musicians' Union (MU), Equity and the Writers' Guild, held an event in parliament on Tuesday to discuss mental health issues and how they affect performers in the entertainment sector.

The panel was chaired by Luciana Berger MP and the speakers included Andi Hopgood, Vice Chair of the MU's Executive Committee.

Risk factors for musicians

Andi highlighted the risk factors for musicians, including antisocial hours, no downtime, the stress placed on relationships and the effect of "having to put a brave face on," for gigs.

She also made the point that suffering from mental health problems as a freelancer is especially difficult, as there is no sick pay and no opportunity to ease back into working.

The other panellists were Tanya Moodie from Equity, Christine Brown from Help Musicians UK and Cassie Chadderton from UK Theatre.

Contributions were also heard from MPs, Peers and performers in the room and the discussion centred on how mental wellbeing can be better supported in the creative industries.

Key recommendations

  • Changing the culture around auditions to reduce feelings of worthlessness and rejection
  • Clear signposting of existing help
  • Unions providing more events geared around self-care and mental health education
  • Unions and MPs working together to tackle the low pay/no pay culture of the industry, which increases feelings of precariousness for those already suffering from ill health

Read more from Luciana Berger MP on protecting mental health in the arts in the Huffington Post.

Published: 11/07/2018
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