Saturday, July 04, 2015

Fell on black days

A few days ago I wrote about the Guardian's article on the stresses and strains of life on tour. Noisey have now published a more general piece on musicians and mental health, incorporating the thoughts of (amongst others) Alanna McCardle, who recently quit Joanna Gruesome out of concern for the impact it was having on her state of mind.

Much as with footballers, there seems to be a prevailing view that musicians (particularly professional musicians) have no right to suffer from depression or anxiety, given that they're doing many people's dream job and a few are handsomely rewarded for the privilege. However, as with footballers, it's a view that has to change. Equally, though, it's important that those who do experience mental health problems aren't simply romanticised as tortured geniuses.

Thankfully for troubled artists, assistance is at hand in the form of Help Musicians UK, who offer support at all stages of a career that is, for the majority of people, "a pressurised and financially insecure existence". What's slightly worrying, though, is that McCardle wasn't aware of the charity and their work. A bit of awareness-raising to ensure a higher profile is obviously needed.

(Thanks to Jonathan for the link.)

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