IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organization) have launched a new mental health support programme called “Minding Creative Minds.” This is Ireland’s first 24/7 wellbeing support program, and its first phase is now launched for the musicians, songwriters, managers, and production crews in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The services and supports offered for people in the music sector include a 24/7 helpline for emotional & wellbeing support, counselling service, phone and video counselling, and live chat counselling. Further services include legal assistance, financial assistance, and career and life coaching.
Minding Creative Minds was intended to launch later this summer. In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the launch date was moved forward as the pandemic is dramatically affecting the music industry in Ireland and around the world.
MCM is the brainchild of David Reid, who is also the co-founder of the RTE choice music prize, as well as board member with First Fortnight, a charity that advocates for mental health.
Last year, First Fortnight surveyed over 1,300 people in the Irish music and creative community. 91% said they had experienced anxiety, depression, or ill mental health. 95% percent said that there was a need for a dedicated mental health service for their community.
This is a fantastic move for safeguarding mental health in Ireland’s creative sector, especially in a time where the music industry and those who work in it are experiencing unprecedented circumstances. Those who work in creative industries are already susceptible to stress and unpredictability, but Covid-19 has presented another level of uncertainty.
Overnight and without warning, thousands have lost their livelihoods. Not just the live industry but the entire music industry has felt this blow, from recording studios, to venues, promoters, AV companies, and performing artists. The structure and support available through this program is comprehensive and compassionate, and IMRO and those involved in bringing this program to light deserve praise from the creative sector in Ireland and around the world.