Rag ‘N’ Bone Man among number of male musicians starring in mental health film

Virgin Radio

6 May 2022, 09:10

Rag 'N' Bone Man in Man Down

Credit: Man Down Programme

Rag ‘N’ Bone Man is among a number of other musicians appearing in a new film about mental health titled Man Down.

The film, which also features IDLES and Portishead, focuses on men working in the music industry and touches on topics such as depression, isolation and suicide.

Steering the ship as director is Gemma Jeninson, who is also the founder of the Man Down programme, which she launched after seeing a number of people she knew suffering with mental illness.

Jeninson, who is also a qualified mental health nurse, told BBC News that male musicians, in particular, were at higher risk of experiencing serious mental health issues.

She explained: “I wanted to look at what the trends were and why men were struggling.

“I decided that in order to do that music industries needed to be accountable or have discussions openly about what they did with artists or any of their staff about wellbeing.”

The documentary aims to address issues around mental health and isolation through training and support programmes.

As previously mentioned, a number of male musicians have taken part in Man Down, including Gavin Thorpe, IDLES bassist Adam Devonshire and Portishead’s Geoff Barrow. Also appearing in the documentary is Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, who shares his own experiences with mental illness while on tour.

He explains in the film: “A lot of things changed very quickly.”

Man Down has been dedicated to Sirplus, a Bristol MC and member of Central Spillz collective who took his own life.

This comes as the charity Help Musicians reported that 70% of musicians experience anxiety and/or depression.

Currently, official government statistics show suicide is the biggest killer of men under 65, with males accounting for three quarters of the suicide deaths in England and Wales.