The BRIT Awards 2019 with Mastercard have donated £250,000 towards the mental health of young people through music.
The money has been given to Mind and The BRIT School, plus Music Support, ELAM, Urban Development and Music for Mental Health, who are organisations that champion mental health initiatives.
The funds will be distributed by the BPI/BRIT Awards’ charitable arm, The BRIT Trust to promote mental health in schools, the music industry and the workplace.
The cheque presentation event took place this morning (Thursday) was attended by London rapper and former BRIT School student Loyle Carner, and included three BRIT School student performances.
The event featured 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.
Loyle, who is a champion of various mental health charities and initiatives and also runs a cooking school for teenagers with ADHD, made an address at the ceremony.
He 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.’
Jason Iley, BRITs 2019 chairman and Sony Music UK chairman and chief executive commented: ‘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.’
Karen Mellanby, director of networks and communities at Mind, added: ‘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.’
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.’
In 2018 The BRIT Award donation helped nearly 20,000 people, and previous recipients of the funds have included Nordoff-Robins Music Therapy and War Child.
Since its inception in 1989, The BRIT Awards has donated more than £21m to support education and wellbeing through music.