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SUPPORTING PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND DEPRESSION
People with mental health issues are supported at MEL through one-to-one counselling sessions and group interventions. We listen to their problems, ask questions about how they are feeling and listen to their answers and we try to provide them with the right advice and guidance. Listening to them does not mean we have to say much back to them. Sometimes they may find it helpful to just talk to us about their problems, and to know that we are there to listen.
That is why music is a valuable source in supporting the recovery from a mental illness. It can stimulate emotional feelings and responses that help people to be more creative and expressive. They have an opportunity to learn technical, social and vocational skills, improve expression, communication, confidence and self-esteem, and facilitate positive changes in behaviour and wellbeing.
Our friendly approach welcome people to engage in an environment that allows them to collaborate with the peers in relevant music activities and genres. We aim to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people by helping them create a new life for themselves, finding opportunities such as voluntary work or work experience which will reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety and by increasing social engagement. We are also recognised for our work around improving outcomes through using music therapy as a channel to engage young people and adults in other forms of activities to improve on their skills. Some people who are using specialist mental health services in the community can still attend our centre for extra support.
Our group music sessions run on a weekly basis at our centre led by qualified Music Leaders, followed by other activities, designed to support people to use music therapy to help them find various ways in dealing with their depression. Our approach helps them to get a better understanding when they are not able to articulate difficult feelings. We use various techniques to connect with them in an improvised dialogue, which can act as a springboard to emotional awareness. Techniques involve using music created by clients in collaboration with their peers, which helps with the relaxation process, where they can reflect, be guided, reminisce, which helps the change of their mood. We conduct a systematic review to find out whether music therapy has had an effect in reducing the symptoms of depression and this helps them to look forward to seeing a change in their circumstances.