BAPAM (the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) has launched a new bursary scheme to improve cultural competence in therapy for individuals from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities working in the UK music industry. The scheme is jointly funded by Help Musicians and PPL as part of their ongoing commitment to further improving equality, diversity and inclusion.

Following the call earlier this year from the Black Music Coalition for “tangible changes” within the industry, BAPAM has explored how to improve the provision of mental health services that are accessible to Black, Asian and minority ethnic performers and professionals. Poor mental health has been well-evidenced in the music industry and has found the Black, Asian and minority ethnic community to be disproportionately affected, with few Black, Asian and minority ethnic therapists working specifically with performing artists.

The joint venture between BAPAM, Help Musicians and PPL provides up to five bursaries for Black, Asian and minority ethnic performers and professionals in the music industry to undertake training, accredited by the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists), UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) or BABCP (British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies), to become a registered counsellor or psychotherapist.

Bursaries of up to £3,000 will be awarded per year of study towards course fees and allowances. BAPAM will manage and oversee the scheme, including the arrangement of supervision and the management of training placements with clients from the performing arts sector.

This project will support a formalised career pathway from the music industry into a performing arts mental health career for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and performers, and will seek to increase the capacity of culturally-competent therapists to support the high levels of mental health problems in the community, which are anticipated post-COVID-19.

You can read the full announcement here.

Information for Applicants

We are inviting applications for this scheme. If you would like to apply, please send your CV and a supporting letter or video if preferred, to by December 16. Shortlisting and interviews will take place in January. You are welcome to contact us if you have any queries or need further information.

Successful applicants will:

  • self-identify as Black, Asian, minority ethnic
  • have a background in the music industry and understanding of the sector
  • be resident in the UK
  • have an understanding and awareness of diversity and the importance of cultural difference in the therapeutic relationship
  • have found a BACP, UKCP or BABCP accredited training course that they want to do and checked that they are eligible to enrol. The bursary will be awarded on acceptance into a recognised training programme. You will need to start your training by September 2021. See below for more information
  • have a vision for their future career in therapy with performing artists
  • demonstrate genuine need for financial support to join the training

Additional Information on Training Programmes

This scheme is intended to provide flexible support through a variety of training routes to achieving a diploma level qualification in counselling or psychotherapy (core practitioner training should be at the minimum level of a diploma in counselling or psychotherapy, but could be a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or doctorate – BACP). Introductory courses and certificates may be provided as part of a combined course, or may be taken separately before your core practitioner training. The bursary is available throughout this process.

BAPAM will provide supervised placements within our clinical service where you will practise your skills with performing arts clients under supervision.

Further advice on careers and training in counselling and psychotherapy is available from BACP, UKCP and BABCP.

BACP Careers in Counselling Information

BACP Recommended Training

UKCP Where to Train

BABCP Training in CBT