Pilot project helps Nova Scotia musicians access mental health care

Pilot project helps Nova Scotia musicians access mental health care

Musician Hayley Ryerson was operating on a cruise ship in 2019 where element of the compensation arrangement involved a weekly go to to the ship’s captain to get $200 in dollars for travel costs.

It was on these visits the Bear River, N.S., fiddler and violinist stated she heard recurring bigoted responses from the captain.

“And that was, like, one particular of the a lot more skilled gigs that I experienced,” she reported.

She mentioned some of her other gig activities have incorporated being tapped on the butt and conveying why she need to be compensated for her perform.

“I you should not see other folks going to perform and having to reveal to their manager why they need to be paid out for busing tables all working day,” reported Ryerson. “And it would make me truly offended.”

A woman looks away from the camera in a promotional photo.
Musician Jessie Brown says she’s noticed the songs marketplace offering additional mental health and fitness supports for musicians. (Jessie Brown)

A study done by the East Coastline Music Affiliation in 2018 located members documented having mental health and fitness challenges at fees better than Canadians. They also faced barriers in accessing psychological health care and a lot of described they lived down below the poverty line.

This was ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic shut down concert events, a critical resource of earnings for musicians.

To tackle the psychological well being troubles musicians confront, the East Coast New music Affiliation is providing support in partnership with the Psychological Overall health Foundation of Nova Scotia. The program is referred to as Audio Minds.

Ryerson welcomes this.

“I imagine it truly is actually significant to open up these areas within just our audio local community to start out speaking about these issues that we are all touching, we’re all working with, but for some motive not conversing about,” she claimed.

Jessie Brown, winner of the 2018 ECMA Rock Recording of the Year for her album Preserving Appearances, suggests the guidance is required.

“Several years back, just before these kind of plans have been released, at a lot of the conferences and the sector form of functions, you were being advised to really feel fortunate that you were there … we failed to have obtain to anything and so a whole lot of instances it was substances or leaning on each other or burning out,” she explained.

Errin Williams is a clinical social worker who runs the Sound Minds system. For musicians seeking mental overall health support, she will help hook up them with the correct programming whether that is in the neighborhood or a counselling session with her.

How to get enable

The 1st step for musicians from Nova Scotia to get aid from Seem Minds is to ship an electronic mail to [email protected], which is reviewed by Williams.

“When we search at the social determinants of wellness, there are a couple of that talk extremely much to people who work in the audio market,” she claimed.

These include things like the precarious character of the do the job and the isolation musicians can expertise by becoming on the road for their do the job and lacking out on essential everyday living activities, such as weddings, funerals and birthdays.

“Often there can be a disconnect from good friends and family,” mentioned Williams.


Even though Audio Minds is a pilot system, she reported the hope is it will become lasting.

She said around 90 musicians have made use of the program’s one particular-on-a person counselling. Some have informed her they ended up getting suicidal thoughts and the programming saved their life.

A woman is shown onstage at an outdoor music festival.
Errin Williams is a clinical social employee who operates the Sound Minds plan. She’s shown in an undated photo from the Harmony Bazaar Competition of Women & Tune in Lockeport, N.S. She’s just one of its founders. (Submitted by Errin Williams)

Brown used the counselling in 2021.

“Having access to weekly treatment and not worrying about the financial debt that it inevitably would put me into is a fantastic sensation and I know a ton of artists agree,” she stated.

Assist groups

Seem Minds also consists of support groups for ladies in the tunes market and another for individuals dwelling with addictions or who are anxious about their substance use.

Ryerson facilitates the females in the new music marketplace team, which fulfills on the web. She reported members discover comfort and ease in knowing they are not by yourself with the issues they facial area.

“We can come to feel viewed and understood,” explained Ryerson.

Any one struggling with mental overall health can simply call 911 in an unexpected emergency, or the province’s toll-absolutely free mental wellbeing crisis line at 1-888-429-8167, which is out there 24 hrs, seven times a week. To self-refer to a Community Mental Health and Addictions clinic, call 1-855-922-1122 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. AT on weekdays.

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