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World Mental Health Day 2022: Do Music Minds Matter?

Mental health awareness is an important step in the discussions surrounding the development, sustainability and progress of creative practitioners. The World Health Organisation annually recognises the 10th of October as a time to explore and facilitate such vital conversations...


World Mental Health Day (WMHD) as a celebration provides a chance to talk about mental health, how we need to look after our own state of mind on a daily basis, and how important it is to talk about things and get help if you are struggling. This year, World Health Organisation has set a goal to 'make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority'. In 2022, mental wellbeing is still a second thought for many. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that we live in a very difficult to navigate world. Often forgetting to stop, breathe and look after number one, we face a very real crisis; a post-pandemic world has presented more hurdles than ever before. The cost of living, war, environmental devastation - the news feels saturated with negativity.


WHAT IS MENTAL HEALTH? by Mind


"Mental health problems exist in our lives, families, workplaces and communities, impacting everyone. We must do as much as possible to prevent mental ill-health – as individuals and as a society. We will continue to call on national and local governments to prioritise reducing the factors known to pose a risk to people’s mental health, enhancing those known to protect it and creating the conditions needed for people to thrive" World Health Organisation

Independent practitioners in culture/art face an unprecedented amount of hurdles on a daily basis. Lack of regulation has made over working a normal practice amongst creative industries, perpetuating blurred workplace dynamics, complex boundaries and mental health struggles or continuous burnouts. These atmospheres are dangerous - yet rife in a creativity that's founded in love, passion and a desire to grow within the sectors. World Mental Health Day is crucial in facilitating conversations surrounding support and recovery, especially when working or living in a challenging environment - a huge relief and sanctuary for those surviving, through sharing stories and support from lived experiences.


ARE YOU STAYING SAFE & WELL? by Royal Television Society


As well as industries like Film, TV and Art, the music sector has seen huge developments in mental health awareness. The discourse around Mental Health started to garner serious attention back in 2016, when the charity Help Musicians noticed a 22% rise in the number of people seeking help for mental health crises. The charity commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 self-identified professional musicians across the UK music industry, hoping to demonstrate the need for further awareness. It highlighted that seven out of ten were musicians with social anxiety and had suffered panic attacks, while just over two-thirds had experienced depression – three times more than the general population. More than half of the respondents said that they had found it difficult to get help; many would suggest this evidence shows a societal disregard for mental illness amongst creatives as a serious problem.


It's not all doom and gloom. Mental Health awareness has seen huge strides forward since its introduction into mainstream discourse. Expanding into the video game sphere, cross collaboration has seen the potential to make waves in bettering mental health conversation amongst creatives. Like many organisations fighting for support/resource accessibility, Safe In Our World is a video game mental health charity set up in 2019. Their main aim is to globally destigmatize the conversation around mental health and the video games industry, for gamers and industry folk alike. The website references a global database of mental health resources and articles on different types of problems like anxiety and depression. The site also showcases stories from leading people from in the industry (dubbed 'hero stories' by the organisation) about how mental health affected them, how they’re dealing with it in real life, and how it’s within the world.


Building bridges from one sector to another, established music names have teamed up with video gamers to raise money for Safe In Our World and support the valuable work they do. Releasing 'ARCADE PARADISE' for £3 DONATION VIA BANDCAMP, all proceeds shall be donated. The EP explores the concept of "pushing through" and fighting inner demons, something many young people relate to - not to mention those a part of gaming and music communities.


Leo Zullo - Managing Director at Wired Productions and founder of Safe In Our World.

“The Music, the Arcade Paradise lead song, was created by Stu Brootal the lead artist on Ivar & The Horde, co-written by Kieron [Pepper]. The whole premise of the song is about the angst this kid has, he’s really angry, and it’s motivation of what you can do and how you can prove a point. So basically the music is pivotal, and the energy that comes out of the music is self-evident, and ties in nicely with what Safe In Our World is about.”
"We decided to release the Arcade Paradise EP as a single, and on Bandcamp, every single penny sent, rouble, every bit of money, on Bandcamp on the Arcade Paradise EP is going to go to Safe In Our World. Basically we’re asking everyone to support, everyone to stream it when it goes live, everyone to share it, get the message out there and if you want to spend a couple quid and support Safe In Our World, do it - it’s going to a great cause and every single penny is going to Safe In Our World.”

Collaboration within the arts has curated a safe space to open up, talk and heal from an often dismissed topic. Using Art as a form of coping has also facilitated conversation. If you or someone you know are suffering, please recognise that you are not alone. Listed below are support services and resources one might find useful in a time of need - most are FREE and ACCESSIBLE.


MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

SAFE IN OUR WORLD

https://safeinourworld.org/find-help/

https://safeinourworld.org/crisis-hub/

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