Results have come in from the New Zealand Music Foundation’s community wellbeing survey, which was conducted to find out which areas Kiwi musicians need more support in.
1,352 people completed the survey in July, allowing the foundation to look at what’s really going on in the music industry.
Campbell Smith, CEO of The New Zealand Music Foundation, explains, “Music can be an extraordinarily difficult way to make a living in a small country like ours. More often than not it is a very hand-to-mouth existence and while we love our musicians, they and their supporting cast generally have no support or safety net. If illness, distress or hardship befalls anyone in the music industry in New Zealand, life can get very hard, very quickly.”
Some of the key statistics include:
- 58% of survey respondents said they don’t get enough sleep, with 37% saying they experience insomnia.
- Only 16% of respondents in this survey reported undertaking planned exercise weekly.
- Over half of both men (66%) and women (51%) showed a positive indication of problem drinking. This is markedly higher compared to national figures where 25% of men and 11% of women positively indicate for problem drinking.
- 41% of respondents had used drugs for non-medicinal purposes in the last 12 months, compared to 16.6% in the general population.
- 18% scored positive for suicide ideation in the past 12 months. These figures are much higher than the general population, which sits at 3.2%.
- Over a third reported that they’d been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Depression and anxiety were the most mentioned (85% and 57% respectively). Both figures significantly eclipse the reported incidence rate in the general population for these conditions at 17.4%.
- A high proportion reported they’ve suffered from emotional distress/difficulty at a level that has impacted on their ability to carry out everyday activities (84%).
- The majority of respondents indicated that on the whole, they didn’t know where to look for support (40%), but many did feel it would be ‘easy’ to find support outside (70%) the music community. However, the reverse seems to be the case when they consider if they could find it within the music community.
Click here to read more results from the survey.
In conjunction with the survey, the New Zealand Music Foundation launched a Wellbeing Service this year which offers 24-hour online, on the phone and in-person counselling specifically tailored to the music community.
We recommend hitting this service up if you’re in need of a chat and some support. We also recommend talking about these issues more with your friends and fellow music makers, because it’s not an easy road out there as a musician. The more awareness and understanding there is out there, the less likely it is that you’ll feel alone in the struggle.
Onwards and upwards, team.