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New study indicates musicians may be 3x more likely to suffer from depression compared to the public

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A new study spearheaded by Help Musicians UK has determined that musicians may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression as compared to the general public.

Help Musicians UK is a leading independent charity for musicians in the UK. The study has emerged as a part of the charity’s Music and Depression (MAD) campaign, an initiative dedicated to examining the prevalence of mental health issues in the music industry. The first phase of the study sought to survey musicians, focusing on their working conditions in relation to their overall mental wellbeing via an industry-wide survey that recorded responses from a total of 2,211 artists. The number of voluntary participants in the online survey led the effort to become the largest of its kind in the UK to date.

Study

Graphic Credit: Music Minds Matter

The majority of survey respondents were between the ages of 18-35, working across a variety of genres. Pop, rock, and alternative surfaced as the most prominent genres of music practiced by respondents. Of the various professions represented, including musicians, DJs, live crew, and music management, males and females were split relatively evenly, with 55.2% of respondents identifying as male, and 43.9% identifying as female.

Study genres

Graphic Credit: Music Minds Matter

The survey’s findings indicate that musicians appear to be suffering from anxiety and depression in significant numbers. 71.1% of respondents reported that they had suffered from panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety, while 68.5% reported that they suffered from depression. The survey concluded that musicians specifically may be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression compared to the public. While 39.5% of respondents were from London, the survey received responses from artists across the UK, indicating that the issue is problematic on a national scale.

Help Study

Graphic Credit: Music Minds Matter

Help Musician UK’s examination determined that while artists might classify music production as its own kind of catharsis, working within the music industry might render artists more likely to develop mental health issues due to poor working conditions, the physical impacts of a musical career, a lack of recognition for one’s work, and dilemmas related to one’s sexual identity — female artists are notably more likely to be subjected to sexist attitudes and sexual harassment in the industry than male artists. Working in the industry might also exacerbate existing mental health complications.

53% of respondents reported that they did not “find it easy to get help” for mental health issues, whereas 47% alternatively found it easy to seek out the necessary mental health related assistance. The percentages signal that the majority of respondents were not able to locate adequate resources to alleviate mental health related hardships.

Help Musicians UK hopes to launch a nationwide mental-health service for music industry figures in 2017 following the completion of the study’s next phase. The survey represents a groundbreaking stride in the direction of increased comprehension regarding the presence and prevalence of mental health related afflictions in the music industry. The survey offers new insight into the source of artists’ mental health complications, illuminating potential avenues for support while underscoring what new methods might yet be developed.

Via: Music Minds Matter

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