Avicii’s legacy is ‘transforming mental health in the music industry’

Avicii’s legacy is ‘transforming mental health in the music industry’

Lee Welsh covering Avicii

The family of Avicii have set up a foundation in his name to support causes including mental illness and suicide prevention.

The Swedish DJ took his own life in 2018 while on tour in Asia.

The Tim Bergling Foundation “is our way to honour his memory and continue to act in his spirit,” say his family.

Tim Bergling is Avicii’s real name.

And people currently working on mental health in the music industry say that his legacy has already helped improve awareness in the field.

“One of the main issues Avicii’s death highlighted was the reluctance of men to talk about the subject of mental health,” Tristan Hunt from the Association For Electronic Music tells BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

He’s the co-chair of a group that’s working to improve mental and physical health among fans and professionals in the dance music industry.

‘Suicide cuts right across our society’

“His suicide brought into sharp relief just how many men suffer from this, especially within our industry.

“It’s not just electronic music. It cuts right across the industry, it cuts right across our society – but men do find it particularly hard to talk about.”

Three out of four people who end their own lives in the UK are male, according to a report in September 2018.

More recently, Keith Flint from The Prodigy died from hanging, which his Prodigy bandmate Liam Howlett confirmed as suicide on Instagram.

Liam Howlett Instagram post THE PRODIGY / INSTAGRAM
“Avicii’s passing and Keith’s death over the past year highlight that we clearly have a very long way to go still,” says Tristan.”At every level we need to keep talking acting and caring in order to save lives and create lives worth living.”

Foundation can bring light to ‘dark’ incident

One person who knows about how working in the music industry can affect your mental health is Manchester DJ and producer Ben Pearce, who says the anxiety and depression he has faced was brought on by working in music.

“I’m glad a foundation is being set up in Tim’s name,” Ben tells Newsbeat.

“It was a really awful tragedy but out of such a dark time, there can be a light. If the foundation helps anybody, I’m sure that will go to redress the balance.”

Ben Pearce
Ben told Newsbeat in 2017 that at his lowest, he was “shaking, throwing up, sweating and generally feeling awful”

Ben says it’s “amazing” that anyone is committing time and resources to tackling mental health issues in the music industry.

“Just working in such a volatile industry like music, there are a lot of factors that can influence how your day to day life is,” he says.

“Schedules can change quite drastically and deadlines can change for a lot of people and that puts a lot of additional stress on.”

‘Avicii’s death has changed the music industry’

Since Avicii’s death, Tristan says the music industry has started to address the need for mental health provisions in the same way as it has been in schools and other businesses.

“Avicii’s death sadly brought that into sharp relief but I think one of his greatest legacies will be that he’s helped transform our industry in terms of giving mental health the importance it’s always needed,” he says.

“Now the focus has now been very much upon that to get it resolved.”

The Tim Bergling Foundation will also work on nature conservation and endangered species – among other issues.

Visit the Radio 1 Advice pages for more information on mental health and suicide.

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Charity lunch will honour Dundee dad Lee Welsh

Link to Evening Telegraph article here


Dundee mental health charity set to benefit from charity football match in memory of Lee

A charity football match in aid of a young Dundee dad who took his own life after suffering from depression is to be held in the summer.

Lee Welsh, 27, was found dead at his Peddie Street home in the city’s West End last August.

At the time, his dad, Phil, said that Lee, whose daughter, Poppy, was then aged six, had battled mental health issues for the last nine years.

Since then, Phil has gone on to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people in Dundee.

Lee Welsh

Now, Lee’s childhood friend, Steve Martin, 27, has organised the football match in memory of his mate and to raise cash for the Dundee Association for Mental Health (DAMH).

Steve said: “Lee and I grew up together and played football for many years with Fairmuir Boys.

“I decided I wanted to do something in memory of Lee and raise money for DAMH at the same time.

“Because of our shared past playing football together, I decided a charity match would be appropriate.

Steve Martin who is organising the game

“I’m getting together about 30 of Lee’s mates and we will form two teams to play the match.

“I really hope this proves to be a success, because I would like it to become an annual event.

“I am having a trophy made for the winners and there will also be a man of the match award.”

Phil said he was very grateful to Steve for his efforts.

He said: “Steve’s dad and I are best mates and the boys basically grew up together.

“They also played football together, and when Steve said he wanted to hold a charity match, I was delighted.

“The match will be in memory of Lee and will also raise money for DAMH. It should be a great event and I would be really happy if it could become an annual event.”

The game will be held at North End Park on June 9 at 2pm.

Phil Welsh with a picture of his son.

Steve said: “I hope loads of people go along and make this a fantastic success in memory of Lee.”

After his son’s death, Phil said that although Lee had talked about his mental health issues, he didn’t believe enough had been done to help him.

Phil has now vowed to fight for better support for young people suffering similar problems.

He said: “I want to make sure that enough help and support becomes available for other young people and their families.

“You get told that young men don’t talk about their mental health issues, but Lee did.

“He was going to the doctor and was asking for help, but wasn’t getting it. That needs to change.

“No one in particular was to blame. The resources were just not there to help young people like Lee.

“That needs to change and I want to do all I can to make that happen.”

Phil has set up Not In Vain For Lee in a bid to ensure that his son didn’t die in vain.


Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

Avicii’s family: He couldn’t go on any longer


Avicii’s family has issued a new statement which says he “could not go on any longer”.

The body of the Swedish DJ, whose real name is Tim Bergling, was found at a hotel in Oman last week.

His family added that the 28-year-old was “an over-achieving perfectionist who travelled and worked hard at a pace that led to extreme stress”.

A spokesperson for the artist declined to confirm whether he had killed himself.

The police in Oman say they’ve police ruled out “criminal suspicions”.

In the statement his family spoke about how Tim “struggled with thoughts on meaning, life, happiness”.

“Our beloved Tim was a seeker, a fragile artistic soul searching for answers to existential questions.

“He wanted to find peace.”

Avicii had always been quite open about his struggles in the limelight and announced in 2016 that he was to retire from touring.

The statement added: “When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music.”

The family had previously praised fans and fellow musicians for their support.

Thousands of fans gathered in Stockholm to remember him. After a silence, church bells performed the track Without You.

And some of his biggest hits Wake Me Up, Levels and Hey Brother are expected to enter the chart on Friday.

Other musicians and DJs have also been posting their tributes on social media.


Link to BBC Newsbeat here