The discussion

We are pleased to share this inspirational discussion that took place on 16th May 2023 as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

Music Support’s Senior Learning and Development Specialist, Norman Beecher, welcomed special guests Matt Bagshaw of Festivall Services and Natalie Witts-Kilshaw of the Musicians’ Union to talk about the importance of Mental Health First Aid in the industry. 

You can watch the discussion via the YouTube link below.

During the session, Norman provided an overview of Music Support’s fully-accredited Mental Health First Aid training. Matt and Nat then shared their experience of taking the training along with the impact it has had on their lives both professionally and personally. 

Click here to find out more about becoming a Mental Health First Aider with Music Support along with testimonials from those who have taken the training with us and details of a bursary for certain freelancers to do the course for FREE thanks to funding from industry partners. 

Norman Beecher's Headshot

HOST - Norman Beecher

Senior Learning and Development Specialist, Music Support. 

Prior to joining Music Support, Norman spent 10 years working as Learning & Development specialist for leading UK addiction charity, Forward Trust.  He also runs his own private counselling practice. Person-Centred Therapy is at the heart of Norman’s work, supported by various approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Twelve Step Facilitation. 

Norman is an approved MHFA England instructor and certified recovery specialist. He is in recovery from his own addiction and is resolute in his belief that every individual has the ability to heal and grow with the appropriate guidance and support.

The panel

Matt Bagshaw

Business Development Manager, Festivall Services  

Matt joined event staffing company, Festivall Services, in 2022 after a few years of freelance work alongside his full-time job. Initially from a Banking background as a Mortgage Advisor through to working with estate agents and partnerships, welfare has always been the key to a happy, healthy and successful business. Having recently acquired his Mental Health First Aid Qualification and an array of experience from those around him with regards to mental health, it is extremely important to Matt to champion these discussions in the workplace and at home! Find our more about Festivall Services here

Natalie Witts-Kilshaw

Live, Theatre & Music Writers Official, The Musicians’ Union

Before working at the Musicians’ Union (MU), Nat, a jazz graduate from Trinity Laban, was a freelance trombone player, educator and arranger and enjoyed a busy freelance career for over 15 years playing and recording with renowned pop, jazz and classical artists and performing on numerous West End shows including In The Heights, Young Frankenstein and The Scottsboro Boys. Nat is now the MU’s Live, Theatre and Music Writers Official and has a keen personal and professional interest in mental health and well-being. Nat has been a Mental Health First Aider for four years and believes the role is vital to a healthy and supported workforce and reducing stigma, one of the most significant barriers to people seeking and accepting help. Find out more about the Musicians’ Union here


LIVE  (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) is the voice of the UK’s live music and entertainment business. LIVE members are a federation of 14 live music industry associations representing 3,150 businesses, over 4,000 artists and 2,000 backstage workers.
Find out more about LIVE. 

We would like to thank Gaby at LIVE for inviting us to host this special session.