19 May 2020

Tuning in to Mental Health through Music

We are proud to be working in collaboration with Surrey Youth Focus to get young people engaged in conversation about mental health through creating music together.  Our project titled “Tuning In” was piloted with young people attending Woolmer Hill School in Surrey in collaboration with our students, led by our tutor Leddra Chapman. The first music release through this platform “Behind Closed Doors” was inspired by the challenges many young people face with anxiety with all the lyrics penned by the young people involved.

Mental health is a real issue people do not always tend to see. It controls young peoples’ thoughts, actions and emotions across the globe. Coming out of a period of depression, “Tuning In” gave me the opportunity to put my thoughts onto paper and make something that I could be proud of. For me it was taking a time of torment and creating something good from it.” – James – Student, Woolmer Hill School

The main focus of “Tuning In” was to give young people a voice and platform where they can speak openly and freely about mental health.

Here at ACM, we know that music has an incredible power to bring people together and is a great tool to speak about important issues such as mental health. ACM is proud to have an award-winning Student Support Team, so developing a project like this was a natural fit for us to continue our work to support young people’s mental health. Fostering good wellbeing is vital in the creative industries to build resilience in people that are at a greater risk of developing mental health issues, so it was brilliant to see our students getting involved and passing their musical skills on to the students at Woolmer Hill School in such a collaborative format.” – Gordon Sweeney – Director of Strategy, ACM

The psychological effects of music on mental health is incredibly powerful. Our students were able to work collaboratively and creatively through the art of songwriting, breaking down stigma relating to mental health. Many people will be feeling anxious and worried during this unprecedented time. But I encourage those who are feeling particularly low to reach out, as the lyrics say – “there are people there to help you”. – Gemma Fry – Senior Welfare Officer, Woolmer Hill School

This project was a valuable experience for the young people as it allowed the students to express their feelings through songwriting. I also think it really helped them feel not so alone by hearing their lyrics / personal experiences sung together with their peers.” – Beth Parsons – Creative Artist Degree Student, ACM

This project has been a great way for young people to speak freely about mental health, whilst also exploring positive ways to support each other. While we still can’t come together in person, due to the Government’s social distancing regulations, young people across Surrey are encouraged to pen their own song about mental health and promote the important message from this year’s mental health awareness week #KindnessMatters. Creations can be shared via the hashtag #TuningInToKindness – Su Freeman, Surrey Youth Focus

All of those involved in this project have worked incredibly hard to produce such an outstanding piece of music which promotes the important message of kindness to one another, especially during these challenging times.

Through the power of technology, collaboration can be achieved whilst adhering to the Government’s social distancing regulations with the use of the internet, video calls and smartphones. Any schools with students aged 15+ should use the form below to register their interest in taking part in future “Tuning In” projects. We alongside Surrey Youth Focus, hope that through this project, we can continue to bring people together to talk about mental health via the medium of music.

In the students words “it’s ok to not be ok” and “there are people there who can help you”.

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Nominate a school

If you are interested in your school taking part in this project please complete the form below to submit to our outreach team.

Interesting in studying at ACM?

Ready for ACM or want to learn more about our courses? Register for attendance at one of our open days, campus tours or apply now:

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Support services

Don’t hide away – there are people there to help you”

National Organisations

  • Childline – a free, private and confidential service where you can talk about anything. Whatever your worry, whenever you need help, they are there for you online, on the phone, anytime. 0800 1111
  • Kooth – free, safe and anonymous support for young people online: www.kooth.com
  • Young Minds is a charity that aims to support children and young people’s mental health. They have produced a blog for young people concerned about coronavirus
  • No Panic provides support for those who suffer from Panic Attacks, Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and other related anxiety disorders. They have a Youth Helpline (0330 606 1174) for 13 to 20 year olds.
  • The Mix offers information and advice about any subject to children and young people between 13-25. It provides helpline and online support.
  • Papyrus provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through its helpline- 0800 068 4141.
  • Samaritans provides confidential, non-judgmental emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair (including suicidal thoughts), 24 hours a day. They are there for you if you’re worried about something, feel upset or confused, or just want to talk to someone.  You can contact The Samaritans 24 hours Telephone  08457 90 90 90 www.samaritans.org
  • The Hideout – Women’s Aid’s specialist support website for young people living with domestic abuse. It contains games, case studies and a pre-moderated messageboard where young people can get support.www.thehideout.org.uk
  • Bright Sky is an App providing support and information for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, or someone concerned about a friend or family member. download Bright Sky for free on the Google Play Store and App Store, where it is available in English, Polish, Punjabi and Urdu.

If you are concerned about your or another child’s emotional wellbeing, you can contact the Young Mind’s Parent Helpline on 08088 025544.

And if you live in Surrey:

  • Surrey CYP Haven: Talk about worries and mental health in confidence with a youth worker and/or health professional. www.cyphaven.net/
  • Surrey Chat Health – text service for young people 11-19yrs to a local NHS nurse. Message about anything: relationships; changes to your body; problems with family or friends; if you are feeling sad or angry; bullying. Text daytime: 07507 329 951
  • CAMHS Community Crisis Service provide specialist assessment for children and young people in crisis who present at any of Surrey’s general hospitals or who are referred directly to the service by their local CAMHS practitioner, health or social care professional.
  • SABP Youth Counselling Service provide online and telephone Counselling for 12-24 year olds with mild to moderate issues, living, working or studying within west Surrey and north east Hampshire. Contact can be made by phone 0345 6002516 or 07827 992764 or email: rxx.youthcounsellingservice@nhs.net
  • For people who are experiencing, or feel at risk of, domestic abuse www.esdas.org.uk/teenagers – East Surrey | www.yoursanctuary.org.uk/get-help – West Surrey
  • Mindsight Surrey CAMHS – www.sabp.nhs.uk/mindsightsurreycamhs – a partnership of providers led by the NHS and involving youth charities to provide mental health services in Surrey (please note services require GP referral)
  • Surrey’s User Voice and Participation team  www.surreycc.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/children-in-care/user-voice The User Voice and Participation team work with Surrey’s young people to help shape, change and develop mental health services positively through projects, training and their own personal experiences.
  • The Surrey-wide 0-19 Advice Line (Health Visiting, School Nursing) provides support on all aspects of child health, development and parenting. The helpline can be contacted on 01883 340 922 and its opening hours are between 8am- 5pm Monday- Friday.

Local charities providing youth mental health support:  

  • Emerge Advocacy are a charity whose workers provide support for children and young people aged 10-25 who have attended Royal Surrey or St Peters Hospital because they’ve self-harmed, taken an overdose or if they are feeling suicidal. They can offer support by phone / video call during this period and can receive referrals from schools for young people who have not attended A&E but who are deemed likely to do so under normal circumstances.
  • Learning Space are a mental health charity who work with children and young people for a wide range of reasons. Support offered includes a telephone helpline, support for parents awaiting a CAMHS service and online support for young people with anxiety. They can be contacted on 07588757638 (West Surrey) or 07907336592 (East Surrey).
  • The Lucy Rayner Foundation provides counselling support for parents and young adults struggling with mental health challenges. They can be contacted by telephone or email: info@thelucyraynerfoundation.com
  • Relate West Surrey is a service who offer relationship support to couples and young people aged 11-18. They are offering currently offering these services via Webcam. They can be contacted for appointments by telephone 01483 602998 or email appointments@relatewestsurrey.org.uk
  • Surrey Young Carers is a service that assists young carers by providing emotional support and information about support, coping strategies and resources. They can be contacted by telephone on 01483 568 269 or email at syc@actionforcarers.org.uk.
  • Eikon is a charity that supports young people to overcome difficulties. They recently launched a virtual youth club @EikonVYC on Facebook (Instagram to follow soon) to share information / activities and Blogs. They can be contacted on 01932 347 434.
  • Matrix is a youth charity providing one-to-one support in schools for young people struggling with life by providing a safe space to talk about things that are concerning them and finding ways to help them cope and move forwards. During the Covid-19 crisis they are offering online youth support sessions through a secure portal where young people (primarily in Guildford) in school years 7-13 can speak to a trained and safely recruited youth worker. Sessions can be booked by calling 01483 574900, emailing youth.support@matrixtrust.com or booking online.
  • YMCA East Surrey offer telephone and on-line counselling via their Heads Together Youth Counselling and Waves group support for young people with mental health needs. These are currently being offered remotely and the service are open for further referrals.https://www.ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk/our-services/youth/heads-together-counselling/
  • Plus: Surrey Care Trust; Step by Step; East to West; Peer Productions; Barnardo’s; National Autistic Society; Leatherhead Youth Project. See websites for details.

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