I have worked in and around the music industry since 1991, mostly in artist management and am married to a song-writer and touring musician. In 2016, I took a leap of faith and began re-training as a coach and counsellor specializing in the arts, popular culture and entertainment.
Having personally and professionally experienced the stresses of a talent-driven environment, I felt passionate about contributing to new way of thinking about mental health in this area.
In 2016, I co-founded Music Support, a charity dedicated helping anyone working in the UK music industry suffering from alcoholism, addiction and emotional mental health problems. I created a 24 hour helpline, set policy, delivered industry-specific training and with the MMF, co-wrote the first mental health guide for artist managers.
I have been part of the advisory panel for the BAPAM psycho-social working group looking at mental health in the performing arts sector and a contributor to the AFEM’s Electronic Music Industry Guide to Mental Health.
As a wellbeing consultant, my clients include YM&U, Young Turks, Believe Music, BIMM, ACM and the MMF on their Accelerator Programme delivering psycho-educational workshops specifically looking at the artist/manager relationship.
Always open about my own mental health journey and recovery, I have been publicly involved in the industry conversation and made frequent media and panel appearances including BBC Introducing and
The National Theatre and am a contributor to the forthcoming book 'Sound Advice' published in 2021.
Evening Standard: October 2018
ITV London News interview regarding mental health and addiction in the Music Industry – March, 2019]
Music Ally – Article on Mental Health in the Music Industry
The Musician (Autumn 2018)
I am a registered One Spirit Interfaith Minister, coach and counsellor having trained at Regent’s University and the One Spirit Interfaith Foundation.
Chula Goonwardene MBACP
I am a BACP registered therapist who spent his former years as a musician, starting as a classically trained pianist and violinist, becoming a self-taught guitarist and drummer, and then enjoyed a professional career in music during his 20’s.
I joined what evolved into North Westminster Drug & Alcohol Service, in the voluntary sector of the Substance Misuse field, in 2005; becoming a qualified Motivational Interviewing Practitioner and Advanced Group Facilitator, in addition to gaining an NVQ4 in Health & Social Care Management.
I have worked with over 500 clients in community-based treatment as a Drug & Alcohol Practitioner, before moving into Treatment Management, Training and Consultancy in 2010 and then qualifying as a Counsellor & Psychotherapist in 2014.
Alongside my private practice in Harley Street, consulting for Music Support, BLFCT and the Centre for Social Justice, writing for Intervene and lecturing at LSBU, I am currently the Operations Manager & Senior Counsellor at Steps2Recovery, and still finds time to play the drums regularly.
I come from a Buddhist family and use this philosophy to enhance both my personal and professional life.