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Musicians’ counselling service established to tackle stress and anxiety of profession

The ISM Members Fund is a sister charity of industry membership body the Incorporated Society of Musicians
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Professional musicians, including those working in West End pits, will be able to access a face-to-face counselling service as part of a range of services designed to support their mental health.

The ISM Members Fund, a sister charity of industry membership body the Incorporated Society of Musicians, will now offer counselling over telephone and in person, including cognitive behavioural therapy.

ISM chief executive Deborah Annetts said: “Looking after your mental health is just as important as your physical health – and we know first-hand from our members the challenges out there for everyday musicians.

“The music sector has a high level of self-employed workers and in the largely unregulated gig economy, where short-term contracts or freelance work is prevalent, there are high levels of stress and anxiety.”

She said she hoped the new service would help musicians “take control” of their well-being, and contribute to the wider discussion about mental health in the arts.

The counselling service will be delivered by Health Assured and will pilot between July and December on a first-come-first-served basis.

The ISM said it intended to expand the range of services it offers over the coming year in order to provide greater support for musicians’ health and well-being.

To access the service, ISM members can call its 24-hour support and advice line. They will then speak to a qualified counsellor who will determine what type of support is appropriate.

The initiative is one of many being launched in the industry to address mental health issues. Recent measures include free counselling sessions, organised by the Industry Minds podcast.

Free counselling sessions offered to creatives working in the arts

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