Music Support, the music industry charity that provides confidential mental health and addiction services, is leading a new initiative by partnering with 10 UK companies and organisations to train industry professionals in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

Music Support will work with The Event Safety Shop (TESS), a live event production safety service; industry charities Help Musicians and The BRIT Trust – the charitable arm of BPI; PLASA, the Professional Lighting and Sound Association; The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF); Production Park, a community of live events businesses and studios; Backstage Academy, a higher education provider specialising in the live events industry; The Production Services Association (PSA) and its benevolent fund, Stage Hand; and Thrive: MentalWellbeing, a new, NHS-endorsed, clinically effective app designed to help people combat stress.

It means that members and events professionals within each organisation can receive discounted training in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).

MHFA England is the only organisation in England permitted to provide Mental Health First Aider Instructor Training, licensed by Mental Health First Aid International, the global community that has trained more than 3,000,000 people worldwide, and more than 400,000 in England alone.

Through the partnership, Music Support will be a preferred provider, offering discounted MHFA training to events professionals. There will be various courses available including First Aider (two-day course), Champion (one-day course) and Aware (four-hour course).

Music Support MD, Eric Mtungwazi explained: “MHFA training is becoming a priority for businesses across many industries and sectors, both nationally and internationally.

“We’ve received a lot of support and encouragement from partners about the prospect of Music Support delivering MHFA. MHFA England is currently campaigning for the Government to put mental and physical health on an even footing. This is gaining traction from politicians and is likely to become an area of statutory responsibility for employers in the future. Now is time for our industry to get in ahead of the curve. We’d like this initiative to be an industry-wide adoption of good practice which will improve mental health literacy and the industry’s capacity to prevent and respond.”

TESS director, Simon James, said: “With three decades working in live events, I have too many personal experiences witnessing people suffering with mental health issues without adequate support. We work in a pressured environment and we’re very proud to do what we can in assisting Music Support in bringing empathetic, professional help into the music industry.”

Paul Reed, CEO of the AIF, commented: “Part of AIF’s remit is to provide its members with the resources and expertise they need to improve and maintain the safety and wellbeing of both staff and customers at their events. Mental health is obviously a vital part of that, and we’re pleased to be partnering with Music Support, alongside a number of other great music industry organisations, to give AIF promoters access to great training in this area.”