Australia — Grassroots advocacy organisation Australians for Mental Health (AfMH) has announced the launch of their new project entitled Holding out for Help, which makes use of hold music – the business practice of playing recorded music to fill the silence that would be heard by telephone callers who have been placed on hold – to shine a light on the long wait times Australians face when waiting for mental health treatment. The campaign was done in collaboration with Australian artist Reuben Styles of hit electronic rock duo Peking Duk.

AfMH has developed a first of its kind library of freehold music, with tracks embedded with messages from styles highlighting the fact that while customers wait, millions suffering from mental ill-health are waiting for help too.

The bespoke messages scattered throughout the hold music feature styles asking Australians to turn their ‘hold’ time into ‘help’ time and end the wait for people suffering from mental ill-health by signing a petition for greater government funding and mental health reform.

Those that joined to support the effort includes life, health, and wellbeing insurer AIA Australia who will deliver the campaign hold music across their customer service phone channels.

Chris Raine, campaign director of AfMH, said that Australia’s mental health system is overstretched, leaving millions of Aussies with mental health issues waiting for treatment, unsure when or if, help may come.

“Our library of hold music is free to every Australian business and with Aussies listening to 90 million hours of hold music a year, we think it’s an incredible channel to reach the nation, at the exact moment it will really hit home. We’re proud to launch the campaign with AIA Australia and share our message with their 3.8 million customers. We hope other Aussie businesses follow suit in turning their hold music into help music,” Raine said.

The library of music is free for all Australian businesses to access and download, with a once-off licensing fee that may apply to broadcast or play the tracks for businesses without a OneMusic license. Meanwhile, the ‘Holding out for Help’ campaign will run across channels namely TV, OOH, print, social and hold lines.

Interested individuals who want to help Aussies in the effort to end mental health wait times can sign the petition at the campaign’s website (