73% of Independent Musicians Suffer from Mental Illness, New Study Finds
Published May 08, 2019At least 73 percent of independent musicians suffer from mental illness, a newly conducted study has found.
The findings come from Swedish digital distribution platform Record Union, which conducted an online survey of nearly 1,500 independent artists. Of those, the study — called The 73 Percent Report — found nearly three-quarters reported suffering from various mental health issues, including panic attacks and depression. Within the 18 to 25 range, this percentage rose to 80 percent.
The survey was conducted between March 21 and April 2, and the study found that major factors contributing to mental illness in musicians included the fear of failure, financial instability, pressure to succeed and loneliness. Of those surveyed, only 39 percent had said they had sought professional treatment, while 51 percent turned to self-medication such as alcohol and drugs. In addition, only 19 percent felt the music industry was trying to improve the situation when it came to mental illness.
"Our study is telling us that something needs to change," Record Union CEO Johan Svanberg remarked in a statement [via Billboard]. "It's time to put the state of our artists' mental health on the agenda, before streams and commercial success. We as an industry must wake up and ask ourselves: What's our responsibility in this and what can we do to create a healthier music climate?"
In the wake of the findings, Record Union has committed to donating $30,000 USD to projects that aim to prevent or aid mental illness among musicians.
You can check out the full study over here, where you can also learn how to apply for funding.