Written for London360 in May 2016:
Music is known to make people feel low or even angry. However, songs can make people happy and put them in a good state of mind. This is also how those who suffer with Mental Health Issues have a relationship with Music.
According to the mental health charity Mind, 1 in 4 people in the UK suffer with a mental health issue each year. Especially in London, where there is a high need of mental health support.
One form of treatment is Music therapy, which is a means of engaging people musically in ways that stand to benefit them in life more generally. Many of the challenges facing people with mental health issues can be worked on musically: for example, helping someone to be more expressive or more organised, or to take pleasure in interactions with other people. For some people it stands on its own: for others it may be a gateway into involvement in music and musical activities in the longer term which help to sustain health on a long-term basis.
While Music therapy is one form of treatment, there are alternative therapies found in the capital. According to the charity Rethink Mental Illness, treatments include herbal medicine, yoga, meditation & mindfulness and massages.
If therapies don’t work people can do other things to help manage including reading blogs and books, watching your favourite YouTuber or YouTubers, talking to your best friend or closest friends and family.
There is help out there including:
- The Charity Mind has an info-line.
- Charity SANE has a SANEline.
- Your local NHS Trust and a crisis card which is an out of hours helpline for urgent advice and crisis support.
- The Charity Samaritans also has a support line.
- An Online community called Elefriends which is also run by Mind where you can talk to other people who suffer and is a safe place to talk.
Finally, remember you are not alone and your GP is your first point of contact.