Helpline Volunteers

 
 
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Hello, we are music support

We are a UK registered charity for the music industry, by the music industry.

Our founders and volunteers have all lived through mental health and addiction challenges and are now thriving in our business. As a result, we have come together as a collective to form a peer-to-peer network that stands shoulder-to-shoulder alongside our friends, colleagues and heroes as they too walk their path of recovery. We are dedicated to being a part of the movement towards a solution of support in our industry. We are also committed to bring about change and prevention through training and education.

We provide advice and support based on our own lived experience as well as professional signposting to those working in the industry living with alcoholism, addiction, emotional or mental health issues.

How we support our music community

  • A telephone helpline offering peer support from fellow trained industry volunteers and signposting when needed to appropriate professionals in the fields of addiction and mental health: therapists, psychiatrists and treatment facilities – many of which also have prior industry experience providing extra understanding to those who reach out to us.

  • Safe Hubs backstage at UK Festivals where anyone working can touch base in a designated alcohol and drug free space to enjoy a bit of calm, chat to one of us or attend a 12-step support group meeting. We also meet people to talk confidentially wherever they are backstage.

  • Crisis and Trauma Support.

  • Education – through delivering bespoke workshops run by industry people to further the music world’s collective understanding of mental health and addiction. We also work within the industry to share our experience with employee wellbeing programmes to raise awareness around addiction and mental health issues.

As a helpline volunteer you are

  • An ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on.

  • A figurative hand to hold – made all the more enriching should you have similar experience in that particular area of the industry (or not). You never need to share your experience unless you feel it will help the situation. When in doubt, leave it out!

As a Helpline volunteer you are NOT

  • A therapist.

  • An expert on mental health, addiction, depression, stress, anxiety, personality disorders etc.

  • Giving advice on any of the above issues – leave that to our experts which we can signpost service users on to!

  • A career advisor. We exist to support emotional wellbeing, not career decisions.

Join our movement - our community needs you!

To respond to the ever-growing call for support, we are looking for music people who have first-hand experience (current or previous), of working within the music industry to join our movement of Helpline volunteers.

Your unique perspective will provide a non-judgemental, confidential space where our service users will feel safe to communicate with you by phone or email. Your compassion in wanting to help will also be teamed with extensive training which we will provide, including Mental Health First Aid certification.

What do you need to be a part of the Helpline family?

Training

We will provide all the training that you will need to be able to support our services users when they make contact. This ranges from learning about confidentiality, healthy boundaries and what to do should you have extra concern about a service user.

To ensure our service users receive the best possible support from us, we require you to attend our complete programme of training and to supply us with referees. Your referees will have known you for a time and will be from either a paid or volunteer placement within the music industry, drug and alcohol support, mental health, first aid or a related field of work (e.g education, youth work, housing support, social work, etc).

SKILLS

The skills you’ll be bringing to the Music Support Helpline family...

  • Great communication skills

  • A high level of empathy

  • Compassion

  • Respect and understanding of confidentiality

  • Mental Health First Aid certification - you will obtain this in training.

Dates

29th September (assessment day)

If successful at the assessment day, you will be required to attend two full weekends of training;

Saturday 12th – Sunday 13th October  (Music Support training)

Saturday 26th – Sunday 27th October (Mental Health First Aid training)

All of the above will take place in a London based venue.

(*and because we are family and look after each other, we’ll be feeding lunch to those who come along to October’s dates as well as covering travel expenses too!)

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Anything else you should know?

To come onboard as a Music Support Helpline volunteer you must be 18 years or older. We will also carry out an enhanced DBS check on you before you start.

This bit is important – YOUR availability for the helpline (aka what being on call looks like):

You must be available to commit to volunteering on the helpline from a mobile handset which we provide to you (per month);

At least 2 weekdays (5pm – 9pm)

At least 2 weekend days (either 1 or 2 Saturdays/Sundays, 9am – 9pm).

In return for your commitment, we offer you;

·      Training – Safeguarding and Boundaries, Self-Harm and Self-Care, Mental Health First Aid training

·      Group and 1:1 supervision

·      A supervisor you can report directly to and who will be there to support you

·      The chance to attend Music Support and Third party events (including Safe Hubs).

We are investing in you!

Because we value our volunteers we are committed to providing the best possible training - this costs us quite a lot of money. All we ask is that in return you think before you commit.

Our stance on alcohol and drugs

We welcome volunteers from all walks of life who will have differing opinions, beliefs and experiences of alcohol and drug use.  However, because we welcome people in abstinence based recovery and support people with sometimes life threatening issues around drugs and alcohol, it is essential that our volunteers are either in recovery, abstinent, or do not have a currently problematic relationship with alcohol or drugs. Those who consider their use “recreational” or “social” are welcome but we ask you to refrain while you are on duty. If you think you have a problematic relationship with alcohol or drugs we can provide you with support first and talk about being a volunteer later.

If you are in doubt, talk to us!

We say this with love and respect for all, no judgement whatsoever. We are not the fun Police but if you would like to be a Music Support volunteer we ask you to respect this stance.

I want to help out but I don’t have any music industry experience

Thank you for wanting to help support our community – we are delighted! However, Music Support is a community that is run by and caters to those from the industry. We recognise the value in being able to share our similarities and the massive empathy brought by those experiences.

If you are an additions or mental health professional with no music industry experience please email us directly.

If you are not a member of the music industry community but would like to help others with their mental health, addiction or social inclusion, you might want to check out:


Contact

Joanne Croxford 

Services Officer

joanne.c@musicsupport.org

Call: +44 (0)20 3948 677