MMF and Music Support publish Music Managers Guide To Mental Health – with support from Help Musicians UK

19 May 2017

New free-to-download publication is launched at The Great Escape


The Music Managers Forum (MMF) and music charity Music Support have published the first ever Music Managers Guide To Mental Health – a free-to-download publication that aims to provide music managers with information and advice to better protect their own mental health, as well as the well-being of their clients.

Packed with information, first-hand accounts from leading managers and links to further reading, the guide has been produced with support from Help Musicians UK, and covers three specific areas:

  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Alcoholism & Drug Addiction
  • Work Balance & Boundaries

It can be downloaded for free here.

Both Help Musicians UK and Music Support have been at the centre of debates surrounding mental health and the music industry – while the MMF has worked hard over recent years to raise the issue among its 500-strong membership.

1 in 4 UK adults will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives.

Speaking at the launch, Fiona McGugan, General Manager, MMF UK, said:

“The modern music business is a rewarding environment in which to work, but it is no secret that it can also be tough and isolating – and particularly so for managers. Our members frequently play an all-encompassing role, and must protect their client’s emotional, mental and physical state as passionately as their business interests.

“At times this is a 24-hour role and, combined with our ‘always on’ digital culture, it is quite easy for such support to become stretched to breaking point. If that occurs, it is vital that artist managers can turn to someone in confidence, whether that’s the MMF as their trade body, Music Support, Help Musicians or a medical professional.

“All this information is provided in our guide, as well as advice from managers with first-hand experience of dealing with mental health problems and addiction. We hope it will make a positive contribution to tackling this important issue and the development of preventative strategies that will benefit all in the wider music business.”

Ellie Giles at Various Artist Management, who is quoted in the report and recently blogged about artist management and mental health for Noisey, said: 

“This guide is an incredibly useful and practical document for all artist managers, big or small. It details some hugely complex issues in a very concise manner, and provides links to experts and organisations who can help. The MMF have created something that will effect great change, and pushes the conversation around managers’ mental health wide open.”

Andy Franks from Music Support said:

“The Music Support helpline was founded by individuals from within the music industry with personal experience of these specific issues, while working the music industry, for the music industry. We know what it’s like from inside, we’ve all been in that dark and desperate place and somehow or other come out the other side. We haven’t got the answers,  all we can do is share our experience and hope it will be of help to others. Contributing to this wonderful guide is a big step In that  direction and we are very grateful to the MMF for joining forces with us, and to HMUK for supporting us.” 

Christine Brown, Director of External Affairs at Help Musicians UK said:

As the leading independent music charity, the role of HMUK is to support the music community. Working with organisations such as The Music Managers Forum on such an essential guide enables us, as an industry, to have conversations, address issues and begin to find ways of making it a safe and healthy environment.

We are an organisation committed to finding solutions. HMUK’s ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ research has the potential to change lives and affect the way the music industry thinks about addiction and mental health. Building on our Music And Depression campaign, launched in 2016, the charity will soon be releasing the final report, including recommendations. This report will provide a platform for a phased nationwide service in 2017 and into the future.”

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