£250,000 raised through The BRIT TrustChairman of The BRIT Awards 2019 and Sony Music UK Chairman & CEO, Jason Iley has presented a £250,000 cheque to Mind, The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology and other mental health initiatives at an event at The BRIT School in Croydon, London, accompanied by London rapper and former BRIT School student Loyle Carner, to mark The BRITs’ ongoing support towards mental health wellbeing and awareness for young people.
Jason Iley, BRITs 2019 Chairman and Sony Music UK Chairman and CEO said: “There is so much to be gained from investing in the mental health of future generations. I’m delighted that The BRIT Trust Charity is once again in a position to make a donation to such a worthwhile and significant cause. I hope that the continuation of our investment will keep this important issue at the top of the cultural and political agenda.”
Loyle Carner also made a short address, having spoken out regularly about mental health awareness and well-being. A champion of various mental health charities and initiatives, Loyle also runs a cooking school for aspiring teenagers with ADHD.
Loyle Carner said: “The BRIT School really helped me and took the time to understand my ADHD. The counselling I received during my time at school changed my life. It’s really important that young men and women have a space to talk about how they feel without being judged or embarrassed because being a human being isn’t easy. The music industry needs to help people understand the vulnerability of successful artists...you can have everything, but also lose everything.”
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “The work of The BRITs and The BRIT Trust to promote education and wellbeing through music has never been more important. There is rightly a new focus on supporting the mental health of people who work in the music community and more widely across society, and I am proud that we are able to make these substantial donations to Mind, The BRIT School and other charities that champion wellbeing. We need to help address the treatable causes of poor mental health rather than deal with their damaging consequences.”
The event was hosted by The BRIT School Principal Stuart Worden, who was joined by Mind’s Director of Networks and Communities Karen Mellanby, Music Support MD Eric Mtungwazi, Principal of East London Arts and Music (ELAM) School Mik Nelson, Urban Development Director Pamela McCormick and Music for Mental Health founder Laura Westcott, and included three BRIT School student performances; a musical number by a choir of 75 Year 12 students, a spoken word reading by DeAndre Bondzie and a drama piece by Saskia Moon and Tatiana Wortley.
Mental health charity Mind will once again be a beneficiary of the 2019 BRITs as part of their ongoing partnership with The BRIT Awards to help thousands of young people, their parents and teachers with their mental health. The partnership, which was announced in 2018, contributed to the successful pilot of the charity’s Whole School Approach in 17 UK schools (including The BRIT School), which supported 19,846 people across England and Wales by introducing a comprehensive programme on mental health well-being, including: targeted interventions, the provision of information at parents evenings and school events, and the delivery of 1:1 counselling sessions. The support for The BRIT School saw the introduction of clinical supervision for 160 members of staff as well as Pupil Resilience workshops with 200 Year 11 pupils. The money donated by The BRITs 2019 will continue to fund this crucial area of Mind’s work in the 2019/20 academic year: continuing the delivery of support in the BRIT School, building on the work completed as part of the Whole School Approach pilot. Alongside this they will fund the Whole School Approach in two new schools.
Karen Mellanby, Director of Networks & Communities at Mind, said: “We are thrilled that The BRIT Trust has chosen to support this vital area of Mind’s work for a second year running. Thousands of pupils, staff and parents have already been supported with their mental health and wellbeing, and this additional funding will help us continue our work in schools into the next academic year, and see us expand the project to start working with two additional schools. If you’re struggling in your teens we know that early and effective support makes all the difference, and that without the right help, at the right time, mental health problems in childhood can have a long lasting impact. That’s why it’s so important we continue and expand the work we are doing to improve mental health in schools - reaching even more pupils, staff, parents, and the wider community.”
As one of the first schools to pilot Mind’s ‘Whole School Approach’, The BRIT School will use the donation from The BRIT Awards 2019 to support their dedicated mental health wellbeing and special needs programme, which will continue to serve students and staff alike to focus on promoting mental health wellbeing. This amount is in addition to the other BRIT Trust grants regularly made to the school. Over the last year The BRIT School has worked in partnership with Mind to support mental health in the school, as part of the Whole School Approach scheme to unite pupils, parents and staff to tackle the issues around supporting mental health. The School has already shown a huge commitment to mental health via their own mental health initiatives such as monthly sessions called ‘BRIT is Talking in the Library’, focusing on a mental health first aid toolkit. Each session encourages them to look at their stress containers – how well they are managing their wellbeing and mental health, focusing on related themes in each session. Additional resources offered include a counselling service, a personal development programme: nutrition, sleep, free yoga, football and mindfulness sessions, and safe zones around the school for students.
Further funds will be distributed to Music Support, ELAM, Urban Development and Music for Mental Health to support their individual mental health well-being initiatives.
Previous recipients of funds raised through The BRIT Awards include Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy and War Child. Since its foundation in 1989, The BRIT Awards has distributed over £21 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.