Under the leadership of BRITs Chairman, Jason Iley, The BRITs 2018 have partnered with Mind to support and educate on the importance of mental wellbeing in schools. Mind will, as the official BRITs charity partner, receive £200,000 as a contribution towards their pilot Whole School Approach to mental health programme. This seeks to integrate mental health and wellbeing within the culture of secondary schools so that it can reach pupils, staff, parents, and the wider community.
The partnership will also help to promote the importance of mental health and wellbeing across the music and performing arts sectors and encourage every part of the industry to prioritise tackling stigma by committing to Time to Change – a campaign run jointly by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.
Alongside the grant to Mind, £25,000 will be donated to The BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology – the free Croydon-based creative arts school which the music industry helped to set up over 25 years ago and continues to help fund to this day. This amount is in addition to other BRIT Trust grants regularly made to the school, but is earmarked to support dedicated mental wellbeing and special needs work.
Finally, a further £25,000 will go to Music Support – the new music industry addictions and mental health charity established by industry veterans Matt Thomas and Andy Franks, which has Robbie Williams as its patron.
Jason Iley, Chairman BRIT Awards and Chairman and CEO, Sony Music UK & Ireland, said:
“Mind do wonderful life-saving and life-enhancing work in the field of mental health, so I’m delighted that The BRITs can make a contribution to their vital campaign in schools. I am thrilled that this money has been invested into such worthy causes.”
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said:
“One in four people are now estimated to experience mental health problems, so The BRIT Awards’ donation to Mind, aimed at promoting mental wellbeing in schools and in the workplace, could not be better timed. I am delighted that we can also support the important work of The BRIT School and Music Support to encourage mental wellbeing. This is a further demonstration of the value of music and the profound role it can play in inspiring social change and improving people’s lives.”
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said:
“We are grateful to the BRIT Awards 2018 for this generous donation which will help us to establish our whole school approach to mental health pilot in secondary schools. It will enable us to trial some exciting and innovative new ways of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, teachers, parents and everyone involved in school life. Many of our local Minds are already very experienced in running programmes in schools and we’ll be working with some of them to deliver this important pilot.
"Three children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental health problem but many don’t seek help. We know that early and effective support makes all the difference. Without the right help, at the right time, mental health problems in childhood can have a long lasting impact and stop young people achieving their dreams and aspirations.
"We also know that teachers and parents are eager to learn about mental health, to be armed with advice and information and to feel more confident about having difficult conversations. By working with everyone in the school community we know that we can come together and make a difference. This investment will be the first step in a programme that has the potential to change the lives of thousands of children and equip the next generation to have the essential tools they need to stay mentally well and recover more easily from difficult life experiences."
Previous recipients of funds raised through The BRIT Awards include Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and War Child. The BRIT Awards announced in March this year that its activities in 2017 had generated over £1 million for its BRIT Trust charitable arm, which, since its foundation in 1989, has distributed over £20 million to charities that promote education and wellbeing through music. Alongside The BRIT School, Nordoff-Robbins and Music Support, these include charities such as Key4life, which draws on passion for music to help rehabilitate young offenders, Drugscope, and the East London Arts and Music (ELAM) School.