The New Zealand Music Foundation provides support to members of the local music industry in times of illness, distress and hardship, and develops projects in the community that use music to help those in need.
In late September 2016 the charity launched The New Zealand Music Foundation Wellbeing Service to support kiwi music people. A world first, the service offers 24-hour online, on the phone and in-person counselling specifically tailored to the music community, in order to provide support for those who are experiencing emotional, physical and mental health challenges.
The Wellbeing Service reflects the commitment of The New Zealand Music Foundation to provide proactive assistance to those who make live and recorded music happen in Aotearoa. The service is available free of charge to anyone working in the New Zealand music industry unable to access help due to hardship or other circumstances. It is staffed by registered professionals with proven experience in providing support to those in the creative industries and music people in particular.
The Wellbeing Service was established in response to the results of the New Zealand Music Community Wellbeing Survey conducted by the charity in July 2016. With over 1350 participants, the survey painted a detailed picture showing that many in the music community are experiencing health and wellbeing issues at incidence rates often far in excess of the general population:
· Songwriters, composers and performers reported having attempted suicide in their lifetime at a rate more than double that of the general population.[i]
· Over a third of songwriters, composers and performers reported having been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, almost double the incidence in the general population. [ii]
· The survey responses indicated that Songwriters and composers are two and a half times as likely to have been diagnosed with depression as the general population.[iii]
· Over half of both men and women who participated showed a positive indication of problem drinking. This is markedly higher compared to national figures showing 25% of NZ men and 11% of NZ women positively indicate for problem drinking [iv].
· 84% of all those who responded to the survey reported experiencing stress in the last year that has impacted on their ability to function day to day
In the time since the launch of the Wellbeing Service in late September 2016, the uptake has exceeded expectations and received praise from a broad cross section of the industry.
· The NZ Music Foundation Wellbeing Service 0508MUSICHELP line has fielded over 50 calls since its launch in late September 2016, including from kiwi music people in Australia
· The Service has delivered over 20 specialised in-person support sessions from registered counsellors and specialist psychologists to kiwi music people.
· 62% of those who have sought help are composers, songwriters and performers
· 60% who have sought support are women
· The most prevalent causal factors for seeking support have been emotional and psychological distress, followed by grief, health and serious career-related issues.
The New Zealand Music Foundation Wellbeing Service can be accessed now at www.nzmusicfoundation.org.nz/wellbeing, via email email@example.com, or by telephone on 0508 MUSICHELP.
The New Zealand Music Foundation is a registered charity. To support the Wellbeing Service and the other work of the charity, please visit www.nzmusicfoundation.org.nz.
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