The New Zealand Music Foundation provides support to members of the local music industry in times of illness, distress and hardship, and develops and assists projects across all areas of society that use music to positively influence the lives of those in need.
The charity has today announced the launch of its latest initiative to support Kiwi music people: The New Zealand Music Foundation Wellbeing Service. A world first, the service offers 24-hour online, on the phone and in-person counselling, specifically tailored to the music community, in order to provide support for those who are experiencing emotional, physical and mental health challenges.
The Wellbeing Service reflects the commitment of the New Zealand Music Foundation in providing proactive assistance to those who make our music happen. The service is available free of charge to anyone working in the New Zealand music industry unable to access help due to hardship or other circumstances, and is staffed by registered professionals with experience in providing support to creative people.
The Wellbeing Service was established in response to the results of the New Zealand Music Community Wellbeing Survey conducted by the charity in July. With over 1350 participants, initial survey results already paint a detailed picture, showing that many in our music community are experiencing health and wellbeing issues at incidence rates often far in excess of the general population:
Songwriters, composers and performers report having attempted suicide in their lifetime at a rate more than double that of the general population.
Over a third of songwriters, composers and performers report having been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, almost double the incidence in the general population. 
Songwriters and composers are two and a half times as likely to have been diagnosed with depression as the general population.
84% of all those who responded to the survey report experiencing stress in the last year that has impacted on their ability to function day to day.
Encouragingly, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed reported they would be likely to contact a servicesuch as The New Zealand Music Foundation Wellbeing Service if they were experiencing difficulty.
General Manager, Peter Dickens, comments “We’ve worked hard to listen to the voices of those making their way in music in New Zealand. It’s a vibrant, vital and exciting industry and we’re very proud to be able to launch this service today . We hope it will further support kiwi music people to enjoy healthy, productive and fulfilling lives in their chosen careers.”