The UK’s live sound NEC Group has introduced mental health first aiders to many of its shows, including the Ariana Grande and Little Mix shows, at its two arenas, the 15,800-capacity Arena Birmingham and 15,700-capacity Resorts World Arena.
This news comes after the mental health charity Music Support recently partnered with 10 UK companies and organisations to train music industry professionals in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).
The mental health first aiders are NEC Group employees, and there are currently 20 trained first aiders although the company plans to expand the initiative. They will provide support for employees and audience members in need, and their support could range from being a listener to referring the person onto further help.
A customer that attended the Ariana Grande concert told IQ magazine: “We came to the Ariana concert last night – our first concert since the Manchester attack – and just wanted to thank everyone involved for making the experience so positive and restoring our children’s happy memories. It wasn’t without a few panic attacks and tears, but the mental health support in place was brilliant. This visit was made so much easier by the reassurance of visible security, police presence and the mental health support on offer.”
Ellie Coombes, senior event manager at Arena Birmingham, said: “Mental wellbeing is hugely important to us at the NEC Group. Over recent months we’ve put a real emphasis on making sure our employees’ mental health is looked after – and it’s just as important that we look after those visiting our venues.
“We always hope everyone has a great time with us, but by partnering with CBRE, we’re there on hand to help if anyone needs it. We want our visitors to come and talk to us about their mental health and know that if they’re struggling, they don’t have to do it alone.”