About Our Work
We provide music engagement and recovery services in hospitals and the community for young people and adults experiencing mental health problems.
Our award-winning programme promotes wellbeing and recovery through developing creative, technical and vocational skills and opens pathways to mainstream opportunities in education, training, work experience and employment. Our innovative approach draws on clinical therapeutic techniques and uses creative collaboration and culturally relevant music activities and genres.
- Activities including music production and sound recording, songwriting, composition, vocal technique and performance skills
- Culturally relevant musical genres including hip hop, reggae, grime, rock, folk, soul, dubstep, r’n’b, and everything in between!
- Delivered in fully equipped professional rehearsal and recording studios by specially trained music industry mentors
- Concerts and events at mainstream venues and festivals
- Monthly drop-in with open mic, cafe, art, table tennis, gardening, snooker, social media workshops and other pro-social activites
- Progression routes to continuing study, volunteering opportunities, work experience and employment
The service was developed in response to concerns from mental health professionals in London hospitals about a lack of services relevant to “hard to reach” patients who may be unresponsive to conventional therapies, non-compliant with medication or experiencing difficulties engaging with other activities or services.
Our intake is through referrals from multi-disciplinary in-patient and community mental health teams. We work closely with health and social care professionals including nursing staff, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists throughout engagement.
- Pre-start assessment of mental health history, risk factors and musical interests
- Ongoing monitoring and Care Coordinator contact throughout engagement
- One-to-one and group work promoting creative collaboration, peer support and social inclusion
- Safe, supportive and friendly environments with a non-judgemental approach
- Signposting to appropriate services and progression routes
- Up to date protocols, safeguarding policies, CRB disclosures, public liability insurance
- Client progress and outcomes recorded through observation, feedback and evaluation
The charity was set up in 1997 by a group of patients at Highgate Mental Health Centre in North London to provide music activities on the wards. We now work in partnership with NHS in-patient and secondary mental health services and statutory and voluntary sector health and social care agencies across the UK to provide services for over 3,000 people in psychiatric hospitals and the community each year.
Music and Mental Health
Music can play a valuable role in recovery from mental illness. It can stimulate emotional and aesthetic responses, develop creative, technical, social and vocational skills, improve expression, communication, confidence and self-esteem, and facilitate positive changes in behaviour and wellbeing.
Our innovative approach draws on clinical therapeutic techniques and uses creative collaboration and culturally relevant music activities and genres to engage clients.
We aim to have a positive impact on health and wellbeing through reducing symptoms and relapse rates, increasing leave privileges and contributing to discharge plans for in-patients, and creating new life opportunities for people using specialist mental health services in the community.
We are also recognised for our pioneering work around improving physical health outcomes through using music as a conduit to engagement in sport, wellbeing and pro-social activities.
Our award-winning FAM (Football and Music) group combines weekly football training sessions led by qualified FA coaches on pitches adjacent to our centre followed by an Open Mic music social event at our in-house venue.
We have also developed a format for providing music sessions in hospitals that are introducing smoke-free policies as an alternative to “smoking-breaks” and we actively promote smoking cessation amongst our service users in the community.
Our weekly “Health and Social” drop-in promotes positive physical health and wellbeing through an accessible, structured and fun programme of exercise, nutrition, creative and pro-social activities.