Music project helps service users with rehabilitation

Musical Madness Dec 2014 IntraMental health service users have created an innovative music and film project to share their life experiences.

Service users from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Rehabilitation and High Support Services created the Musical Madness event to build their confidence and help reduce stigma around mental illness.

Staff, friends, family and fellow service users attended the event at Rochdale’s Curtain Theatre on Tuesday 9 December which included music, original songs, a multimedia film project and personal stories.

One of the performers was 40-year-old Lee McGrath from Wythenshawe, an ex-soldier who experienced mental health difficulties after returning to civilian life.

He said: “When you have a mental health problem you can get isolated from your friends and family and, in my case, I got involved in drugs after leaving the army.

“Doing these shows has given me my confidence back and made me feel like I’m a part of the community and appreciated again.”

As part of the project, service users from Bury, the Rochdale borough, Oldham, Stockport and Tameside and Glossop shared their stories and worked with a music mentor.

Gemma Kirk, Senior Occupational Therapist for Pennine Care said the event had been a great success and would help the performers continue to work to improve their mental health.

She said: “The service users had a fantastic time preparing for, and delivering, the performances.

“It was truly inspiring to see how much confidence and self-belief they have made since first coming into the services and many of them have also developed lasting friendships.”

The scheme, which is now in its fifth year, was devised after consultation with service users who wanted to use music to aid their recovery.