Sound Minds has been running a series of singing workshops to benefit primary school aged children experiencing mental distress, in health and education settings in Wandsworth and Merton.
In parallel, project leader Dave Cuthbert and freelance musician and lecturer Phil Mullen have devised training and ongoing support for music leaders and mental health staff entering this field, delivered locally and nationally. The inclusion of participants from each of these sectors helped the sharing of skills and experience. Songwriter Ben Glasstone was also enlisted to work with children and the team to develop a lasting CD and printed resource for Sing Up’s national music library.
The workshops with children used a range of songwriting methods and music technology to support children to express their creativity and develop skills and experience the benefits of writing songs, singing and working collaboratively.
count me in
Count Me in was a three year pan London Comic Relief funded project with three aims:
- to provide training and marketing assistance to performers who have experienced mental ill health
- to provide a booking agency that makes links between organisations interested in booking entertainment and performers
- to use the opportunities presented by music and entertainment events to explain the realities of mental ill-health and combat stigma
Over the project the agency averaged 40 gigs a year at venues as diverse as the Brixton Ritzy cafe where we had a residency, local community events such as the Lambeth Country Show, a range of conference entertainment and a short tour of London's Psychiatric Secure units.
An average of 43 people per year were employed sessionally in some capacity and 100 new people were seen every year for advice.
The booking agency continues to operate, providing entertainment across London and support for performers living in Wandsworth.
When Channel One met Year 10
Sound Minds longstanding reggae band Channel One worked in partnership with schools in Brixton and Norbury where they provided information about mental health alongside workshops in singing and DJing. The approach was written up and published in 'A Life in the Day' magazine and Community Care, and won the band the Community Care Award for mental health in 2004, presented by Jo Brand at the Park Lane Hilton. A short film of a day at Charles Edward Brookes school can be found on our Youtube channel.