For the past two years, we've (The Music Works) been running Music Minds, a pilot programme in schools and out of schools through referrals for one-to-one work, using music as a way of helping young people to cope with mental health problems and their resulting behaviours, such as stress, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and eating disorders. It's been part of a wider programme of cultural commissioning work in Gloucestershire - looking at alternative approaches to the medicalised model of health - as part of the Arts Council England-funded Cultural Commissioning Programme. Funding has come from Youth Music, NHS Commissioning Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning, and Make Music Gloucestershire, the county’s music education hub.
We've learned a lot! And we'll be sharing what Music Minds is, and what we've learned, in a series of blogs on this network which over the next few weeks. This week, we're starting by sharing our promotional infographic which outlines what Music Minds is, and how it helps and our practice-sharing video. In the following weeks, we'll be posting our top-tips infographic, case studies of individual young people from our music leaders, and our evaluation report.
We are continuing the pilot in two more schools from September with the aim of developing a robust, scaleable model that health commissioners recognise as a significant tool in their support for young people.
Are you working with teenagers with mental health problems? What do you see as the main challenges? What do you see as critical to making a music programme work in this area? We'd love to hear from you in the comments box below.