The SIMS Foundation – an Austin, Texas-based nonprofit specializing in bringing affordable mental healthcare to musicians, music industry professionals and their dependents – has launched their summer-long Founders’ Challenge initiative; an effort to aid SIMS in bringing these services to as many in the national music community as are in need during these unprecedented times. Since its founding in 1995 by a group of Austin musicians and music industry professionals mourning the loss of beloved local songwriter and bassist Sims Ellison, the SIMS Foundation has grown to help provide low cost or no cost mental health and substance abuse recovery treatments to nearly 1,000 members of the Austin music community per year – amounting to tens of thousands of hours of counseling sessions, psychiatric visits and days of treatment without barriers. Now, as so many in the wider music community have struggled with increased challenges like unstable income, distance from support systems, severe lifestyle changes and processing immense loss, SIMS launches the “Founders’ Challenge” to help make those steps into post-pandemic life easier on musicians, music industry professionals and their dependents across the nation by providing access to affordable and personalized mental health care options.
Learn more about the SIMS Foundation at www.simsfoundation.org, and text “SIMS” to 44321 to find out how to support the organization
SIMS Foundation co-founder Alejandro Escovedo joined NPR’s Here & Now today for a conversation about the Foundation’s work, the Founders’ Challenge and to share his thoughts on mental health challenges from a musician’s perspective here.
As the only organization in the United States providing affordable mental health care and substance abuse recovery treatment to not only musicians but also their dependents, and to music industry workers generally, SIMS is uniquely qualified to meet this moment for the industry as a whole. Their emphasis on intensive case management and taking a one-on-one approach with each client they work with has also been a core tenet in their success, and will be the integral root of any and all expansion to come. This includes offering training and de-stigmatization programs on issues like inclusion and trauma within music communities. SIMS is also the only non-profit in the United States that provides everyone in the music industry and their dependent family members with every level of behavioral healthcare services that the country’s healthcare system offers. SIMS’ “Founders’ Challenge” was conceived in an effort to meet the increased need for mental healthcare among musicians, music industry professionals and their dependents during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the SIMS founders to honor the memory of their beloved co-founder Don Ellison, Sims’ father, who sadly passed in April 2021.