Tonic Rider were invited to provide an exhibition stand and moderate a panel to highlight mental health in the music industry.
On 9th / 10th February, the Tonic Rider team attended the Night Time Economy Summit hosted by the Night Time Industries Association at E1, London. The summit featured a full programme of keynote speakers, panels and exhibition stands, each highlighting key issues within the music industry and night time economy - including safety, widening accessibility and drug checking.
"Two people came up to me after the panel, one has since registered for a Peer Support Group, the other person said the panel encouraged them to talk about their anxiety.
It’s good to talk."
Biff Michell (Glastonbury / Beautiful Days / Tonic Ambassador)
Tonic Rider were invited to provide an exhibition stand and moderate a panel to highlight mental health in the music industry. Across the two days, we had the pleasure of talking to so many people from the music industry and night time economy, including some old friends, to highlight our work promoting good mental health. The exhibition stand was also the first opportunity for us to showcase our new mental health zines for the music industry. In total, 12 zines were available for attendees to take, covering topics such as stress, anxiety, depression, psychosis and self-harm.
On day one of the summit, Tonic Rider moderated a panel for the first time with the title: ‘Promoting good mental health through peer support in the music industry’. The panel focused on the Tonic Rider Peer Support Groups (funded by Help Musicians) and featured previous participants Amy Bee Sting (Oh My God! It’s The Church), Biff Mitchell (Glastonbury / Beautiful Days / Tonic Ambassador) and Gloria Miller (Artist / Writer / Radio / Tonic Trustee); along with Peer Support Group supervisor / facilitator, Adam Ficek, and Tonic Rider Coordinator, Jeordie Shenton, as moderator.
Adam opened the panel discussion by providing a definition of peer support and explained why it is important within the music industry. As part of this discussion, Adam encouraged the audience to register for a Peer Support Group and raise awareness of the free services Tonic Rider offer. Following this, the panellists reflected on their perceptions of a Peer Support Group prior to participating. Amy highlighted as a participant on the first Tonic Rider Peer Support Group, there were no testimonials to gauge expectations with. The clicking of the Zoom link to join the first Peer Support Group session was noted by Amy as the most anxious moment, but soon relieved when the session started.
Next, the panelists shared their experiences of participating on the Peer Support Group. Each panelist participated in different groups, with similar and unique experiences observed. Gloria revealed how the group dynamics responded to the emotion on the topics, in which participants laughed together but also supported one another during times of sadness. The Peer Support Group was seen by Gloria as a point in the week to leave the stressors of work behind and share thoughts and feelings in a safe, empathetic environment.
The NTE was the perfect occasion to highlight the value of the Peer Support Groups. Being placed in the epicentre of this important summit enabled us to highlight both the need for the ongoing mental health support and the joint responsibility of all involved within the night time economy. I hope that the awareness gained from the attendees translates into more people feeling comfortable in using the resources Tonic Rider offer.
Adam Ficek (Peer Support Group supervisor / facilitator)
Finally, the panelists outlined the benefits of attending a Tonic Rider Peer Support Group. Biff mentioned being part of a WhatsApp group with fellow Peer Support Group participants, even two years after the sessions concluded. This WhatsApp group enables the peer support to continue and for Biff provides the opportunity to check-in with fellow music industry professionals.
Altogether, the Night Time Economy was a great event and we would like to thank our panelists, the audience and Mike, Silvana and the Night Time Industries Association team for inviting us to take part.