Today is World Mental Health Day, a day where the overall aim is to raise awareness of mental health issues, and get everyone involved in doing so. NGOs, individuals, organisations and workplaces all get involved in the conversation, as it’s an opportunity for them to speak up about mental health, highlight the work they are doing, and show how best to support individuals. World Mental Health Day is an important day for mobilising everyone in support of mental health issues, because it’s 2019, and conversations around mental health are still taboo.
‘Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.’ Maya Angelou
Music has and always will be an important facet of our lives, and that is why it is so intrinsically linked to our mental health and wellbeing. Whether it’s screaming Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since U Been Gone’ after a break-up (‘You had your chance, you blew it’ – the perfect break-up line, right?!), or listening to ‘Boulevard of Broken Dream’ by Green Day when you’re feeling quite lonely, music, as Maya Angelou states, is our refuge, our comfort, and our safety blanket. The reason why we find music so comforting in these difficult moments, is because the songs are able to perfectly encapsulate what we are feeling when we find it hard to express these emotions ourselves.
Music has been proven to help our mood and mental health. It can be used as a tool for social connection and interaction, through sharing of playlists and meeting individuals with the same taste as you at music concerts and festivals. Music is a fantastic relaxation tool to aid stress relief, and it can be used as a motivation tool as well, when you need to get those boring tasks done around the house. With all these positive effects, it’s no surprise that music has also been used as a form of therapy. The World Journal of Psychiatry published a study with findings on how music therapy has helped to reduce depression and anxiety in patients with neurological disorders, such as stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. It’s also a low-risk treatment, having showed no side effects in the study.
Today, we are also hosting an interactive, in-person self-care workshop, and a twitter chat with Vini Doshi, Research Associate for Mental Health at One Future Collective, where we’ll be talking about #SelfCare4Caregivers, so please join us in whatever capacity you can, to support vital conversations and action on this World Mental Health Day.
Harshil Shah is a Research Associate with the Queer Resource Centre at One Future Collective.
Featured image source: NRecords
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