World Mental Health Day blog series

Music therapy in mental health

by Katy Grainger, Music Therapist for Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust 

Ever belted out a ballad and instantly felt your mood lift?

I am a Nordoff Robbins Music Therapist, and I have worked with Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust for the past 9 years providing a range of individual and group music therapy sessions for people with mental health conditions.

Together we have started up Lynfest and Lynfrost (festivals which take place at Lynfield Mount Hospital). We also run jamming sessions and co-create music-dramas with a service users and staff (some of these have even been ‘on tour’ to other hospitals and performed on local radio).

The music therapy sessions involve active music making and listening in a variety of different ways – this could be playing a variety of easily accessible instruments, singing, rapping, and sharing music we enjoy.

Sessions can really help service users in a number of ways, from increasing confidence and self-esteem, enabling people to build relationship with each other in a non-threatening and creative environment, through to building skills, nurturing creativity and giving a place for self-expression.

Our Lynfest and Lynfrost (the winter edition!) give everyone an opportunity to play a part and be involved in different ways, whether as performer, organiser, supporter or as audience. They help to build a sense of community and togetherness, and foster skills of collaboration, teamwork and acceptance and appreciation of one another.

Playing and listening to music is great for your wellbeing – I’d encourage anyone to give it a go!