Bullying and harassment helpline launched for UK music industry

A new bullying and harassment helpline has been launched by independent UK charity Help Musicians, providing support and guidance to those in need.

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The helpline gives callers the opportunity to speak with specialist advisors immediately, who can offer advice on rights and avenues for formal action where necessary. The service is not limited to professional musicians; anyone working within the UK music industry experiencing bullying and harassment can call the helpline on 0800 088 2045.

The news comes as the likes of Rebecca Ferguson and Lily Allen have spoken out about the harassment they have experienced and what needs to be done to support musicians experiencing such difficulties.

At present, there is no similar initiative in place in the UK but Help Musicians hope to bridge this gap with the helpline by ensuring that those working in the music industry have a place to turn for advice and practical help.

James Ainscough, Chief Executive of Help Musicians, said, “Bullying and harassment requires a collaborative response across the music industry. The creation of the helpline is a vital next step and Help Musicians is well placed to provide this service, as an independent charity.”

He continued: “Anyone who is concerned about a bullying and harassment situation can call the helpline, share their concerns confidentially and receive advice on how to navigate the issue they are facing. We hope in time that musicians and all those who work in music will feel better emotionally supported as well as gaining practical advice on how to resolve any problems.

“The anonymous insight we will gather through this service will shed more light on the issues being experienced and help to target the collaborative efforts for positive and permanent change across the music industry. This is a vital service, and we ask for everybody’s help in promoting awareness of it, to ensure that individuals who need it will know that they can call for support at any time.”

So far, organisations including UK Music, The Musicians’ Union (MU), the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), and British Phonographic Industry (BPI) have voiced their support. But as well as helping those in need, the helpline also aims to foster more industry-wide efforts that could help eliminate bullying and harassment.

For help and advice on mental health:

  • ‘Am I depressed?‘ – Help and advice on mental health and what to do next
  • Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians
  • Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues
  • YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
  • CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably for young men
  • Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
  • The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day