Contract research shows musicians up to three times more likely to experience mental health issues

Case study Contract research

Can Music Make you Sick? Contract research conducted for Help Musicians UK looks at mental health among musicians and those involved in the creative process.

Close up of hands playing piano

The challenge

Help Musicians UK is the leading independent charity for musicians in the UK.

As part of its campaign on music and depression the charity commissioned Sally Anne Gross and Dr George Musgrave of MusicTank at the University of Westminster to conduct a pilot study into the mental health issues faced by musicians and the wider music industry.

How we helped

The pilot study engaged 2,211 stakeholders across a broad range of ages and genres to inclusively and holistically reflect the state of musicians’ mental health and industry practice. It extended its focus beyond musicians to all those involved in the creative music process including producers, sound engineers, re-mixers, composers, songwriters, live crew, labels and publishers.

This initial research found that musicians were up to three times more likely to experience mental health issues than the general public.

The findings were so severe that the charity further commissioned the team to deliver extensive qualitative analysis and recommendations for policy and service delivery of meaningful mental health support.

Subsequent qualitative analysis of 26 musicians who took part in the study was complemented with insight gleaned from interviewing a range of mental healthcare experts and music industry professionals, spanning artist management, record labels and publishing.

The results

This project is the largest known academic study of its kind in the world.

Drawing on the results enabled Help Musicians UK to launch #MusicMindsMatter, a campaign for industry-wide support of a dedicated 24/7 support line and service for people working in music (October 2017).

You can download both pilot study and qualitative analysis from the MusicTank website.

Contact us to find out what we can do for your organisation.

MusicTank logo
Help Musicians UK logo
By some margin, this is without doubt the most successful work and campaign the charity as ever conducted during its 96-year history. Richard Robinson, CEO, Help Musicians UK

Who was involved

Read more about who was involved with this project:

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Sue Tuttlebury
Knowledge Exchange Development Team Manager
Commercial Development and Business Support

E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)20 3506 6584

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