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New Campaign Aims To Highlight Mental Health Issues Within Kiwi Music Industry

A new campaign launching today is aiming to highlight significant mental health issues faced within the music industry. The campaign Music Holds Hope involves a series of video interviews featuring local artists: Rei, Foley (Ash & Gabe), Michael Murphy (Written by Wolves), Abby Lee Harder and Denel speaking candidly about the challenges they have faced with their mental health as well as how music helped them through their wellbeing journey.

A survey conducted by MusicHelps in 2018 found more than a third (35%) of musical creatives in New Zealand rated their mental and emotional well-being as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ and rates were worst among 18- to 24-year-olds with half rating their mental health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.

The same survey also found music workers are three times as likely than the general population to have thought seriously about taking their own lives, worryingly results had increased from the previous 2016 survey. Out of the 400 survey respondents 47% had considered suicidal ideation with 26% of respondents saying they had suicidal ideation in the past year, this was up from 18% in 2016.

“We hope this campaign will help to not only point out the fact that even people who work in creative industries where much of the work is about following your passion, many are still burdened by mental health challenges. Stigma plays a large part in contributing to this. Having local artists talk openly about their experiences will hopefully help open up and encourage ongoing dialogue around the subject” says spokesperson Hazel Reid.

“There is always hope and as many of the artists featured in the campaign have pointed out people shouldn’t feel alone in what they are going through, lots of other people have faced similar struggles. It's always good to reach out to a friend or support service for support or a chat, don’t hold on to burdening thoughts by yourself, but do always hold on to hope.”

“The more that mental health is seen as less of a taboo subject and spoken openly and responsibly about, the more we can move to break the lingering stigma and continue advocating for better mental health outcomes especially considering how bad our current mental health statistics are.”

Music Holds Hope will run throughout NZ Music Month in May and has been created in partnership with Voices of Hope and the NZ Music Commission. More information can be found at:



0508MUSICHELPS – The Wellbeing Service is a 24/7 online, on the phone and in-person counselling service fully funded by the NZ Music Foundation and provided free of charge to those in the Kiwi music community who can't access the help they need due to hardship and other circumstances. Call 0508 MUSICHELP.

1737, Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor.

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