Music 2 Empower: The Power of Music in Mental Health Recovery
The power of music to aid mental health recovery is being used as a creative therapy to help patients at Cygnet Health Care.
Music plays a fundamental part of most people’s lives as it can shape our identity, culture, heritage and spiritual beliefs. Many of us listen to music for relaxation and leisure and it can affect people deeply. Harnessing the power of music through therapy can also help people across mental health care settings, where it is used to promote improvements in people’s social relations and connectedness, as well as building confidence and self-esteem.
Andrew is a patient who was supported by Cygnet’s service in Taunton in the U.K. where he recorded a video about his music and the therapeutic benefits. He describes how music supported him through his recovery.
“I suffer from quite severe depression and music has helped keep my head above the water,” explained Andrew. “It literally kept me alive at times when I felt I could find no other good reason to carry on.”
“I suffer from quite severe depression and music has helped keep my head above the water.”
Patient, Cygnet Hospital Taunton
Speaking about the opportunities provided to him by Cygnet Health Care, including access to musical instruments and a space to perform, Andrew said, “I’ve never had a set of camera lights on me before, nor have I recorded a song on film or done an interview, so it’s a first on all counts. Cygnet has made it possible for me.”
Music 2 Empower has seen the diverse talents of Cygnet service users celebrated on BBC Radio and through media outlets across the U.K.
Cygnet’s Expert By Experience lead, Raf Hamaizia, said, “With an established and growing body of evidence demonstrating its importance for people experiencing mental ill health, music therapy offers a major opportunity for individuals to put themselves at the heart of their recovery. I’ve seen first-hand how music can help achieve this, empowering people to address problems rooted in their past, opening up channels of communication and helping people to share their story and talk about their feelings and experiences.”
Through Cygnet’s recovery colleges and therapeutic services, individuals are encouraged to play, write, perform and share music. Cygnet also enables people to record their music professionally in recording studios and make short films to showcase the diversity of music and talent across our different services.
“In individual and group settings, we have found that music therapy can cultivate a sense of hope and support that reduces isolation, promotes greater understanding and allows people to express themselves creatively,” said Hamaizia. “Crucially, music helps to build a sense of connectivity to yourself and your community – something that is vital for individuals in mental health care settings.”