Nicola Benedetti to offer musicians mental health advice in run-up to Christmas

Scottish violin sensation Nicola Benedetti has revealed plans to help musicians of all ages cope with struggles with their mental health in the run-up to Christmas.

Nicola Benedetti hopes the wellbeing webinars will bring help to 'people in need of mental health support.' Picture: Andy Gotts

The Ayrshire musician is organising a series of "wellbeing webinars" for students and teachers through her own music education foundation.

She is working with a specialist training company run by her father Gio to encourage people to "sponsor" a place in a session for a friend or relative they think could do with help and advice.

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It is hoped the wellbeing webinars will help musicians and others who have experienced stress and anxiety this year as a result of lockdown restrictions, losing work or being placed on furlough from their job.

They will explore the importance of “selfcare,” key coping strategic such as talking, walking, giving and volunteering, common triggers such as seasonal affective disorder, isolation, loneliness and sadness, and “what it means to be a health musician.

The sessions, which are being held next month, are expected to tackle the mental health problems which can be caused by additional social pressures over the festive season and how these may be “amplified” by the coronavirus pandemic this year. There will also be advice on “refocusing and rethinking our concept of Christmas.”

Benedetti has announced the move into mental health advice for musicians months after she suggested she would be scaping back her gruelling worldwide touring schedules in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 33-year-old, who started playing the violin at the age of four and shot to fame when she was crowned BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 16, launched a series of virtual sessions for musicians and tutors around the world in the spring of this year.

Benedetti will be taking part in some of the webinars herself, while others will feature TV doctors Christian Jessen and Raj Persaud, and violinists Elena Urioste and Rachel Holland.

An official announcement on the Benedetti Foundation website states: “We’re deeply committed to investing in the wellbeing of those around us and are honoured to be collaborating with Green Cross Training this winter.

“We will be working together to spread the gift of wellbeing through a series of one-hour webinars to offer help to those needing mental health support and to promote healthier work and home environments.”

Benedetti said: “Through the Benedetti Foundation, we hear first-hand from families, people at work, students, the young and elderly alike, how increasingly vulnerable people have become during this period.

Nicola Benedetti is creating wellbeing webinars in the run-up to Christmas to offer mental health advice to musicians.

"We know that music provides great solace for people, but sometimes that is not enough.

“I’ve always been inspired by my father’s work ethic and drive in business, and cannot think of a more appropriate purpose to collaborate for the first time in bringing help to people in need of mental health support this winter.”

Ross Abbott, learning and development manager at Green Cross Training, said: “For many of us, the year has had impacts that have affected our wellbeing. This can be more noticeable especially in Wintertime.

"This series of Webinars discusses common triggers, looks at coping strategies and the fantastic support services that are available.”

Benedetti last year told of now constantly touring and practicising had taken a physical and mental toll on her.

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