On the 1st February to coincide with #timetotalk day, I launched Sound of Mind.
The goal for SOUND OF MIND is to become a hub for information, news, interviews, and resources, connected to Mental Health, invisible Illnesses and disabilities, with an emphasis on the music industry.
The blog will regularly showcase the work of initiatives, charities, movements and activists, trying to raise awareness of, or make important changes within these areas. Via interviews with people doing this valuable work, readers will be introduced to services and tools that could potentionally have a positive impact on their lives, or help them to cope with whatever their unique situation may be.
It is the ultimate goal that gigs and festivals continue to evolve and improve, to become places that more and more people feel safe, comfortable, and as pain free as possible being a part of. In many cases it’s going to be about getting the information out there and reassuring people that it is feasible (logistically and emotionally) for them to attend. The site would love to be able to give people more confidence that they are going to be able to cope, and more importantly enjoy the experience of seeing their favourite artists in a live setting. Hopefully over festival season the site will deliver lots of news in regards to accessibility and site updates and improvments, so you can book tickets with peace of mind.
Not only does it aim to be a destination for support, information and comfort for music fans, but for musicians, and all other people working within the music industry. Having worked within the UK rock scene for the last decade (in some capacity), Sophie has seen how the unique pressures, stresses and schedules can effect people in all different kinds of roles, and she knew should had to do something about it.
Where to start…
So many of the issues are ingrained, largely ignored, or problematic in terms of a solution, but I’m hoping creating discussions and being a constant reminder of the things that need to be worked on might help (in a small way) to push things in a positive direction.
Masking pain or pressure with overuse of substance – habits enhanced by an enabling environment. Reaching burn-out regularly, and not feeling able to express a difficulty due to the competitive nature of the industry. Late nights, long hours and lots of time away home meaning they feel detached from their personal life and loved ones. Stress brought on by an unpredictable and unstable lifestyle are just a few of things we will delve into.
There’s so many ways in which this industry challenges ones mental health and Sound of Mind plan to regularly tackle them from different perspectives.
I know I’m not qualified to give out advice of health matters, which is why this site should be viewed as the middle-person, linking people up with necessary experts, and directing them towards sensible routes for their personal situations and issues. While I will continue to draw on my own experiences in regards to mental health and Chronic Illness, please be aware that I’m not expressing them with the intention of speaking for the whole community. I would love to hear from people willing to offer their own voice and angle so that we give as full and rich a view of how things stand as possible. Together we are stronger.
Self funded, this site is always looking for support, whether that be someone willing to help jazz up the website, someone who believes they have valuable content to share, or a member of the musician industry willing to share their story – so please know your emails are always welcome and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Part of me thinks I’m foolish to take on something else which is going to consume SO much time and energy, but this is very very important to me, I just had to do something. I really hope it will help in some way. There’s interviews up with DON’T FRET CLUB (a positive mental health initiative with a fab podcast and zine) and The Hummingbird Project – a community of music lovers who have united to spread awareness of mental health within the music industry and support artists suffering worldwide with mental health issues. More coming this week so keep an eye on the Instagram/Twitter @soundofminduk