Mental illness can be pervasive and affect anyone. Mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” (World Health Organization)
Mental health diagnoses include disorders (eg: anxiety, mood, eating, psychotic, personality), addictions, schizophrenia, and depression. Illnesses are generally thought to be genetic and/or environtmental (eg: inherited traits, environmental exposures before birth, negative life experiences, brain chemistry) (Mayo Clinic)
About seven million Canadians—20 per cent of the population— live with a mental health concerns (Mental Health Commission of Canada).
Mental health is wrongly and commonly misunderstood. It holds myths and stigmas that limit opportunities and experiences for those living with mental health illnesses. And, these stigmas prevent suffers from receiving treatment.Forty-percent of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem (Canadian Mental Health Association).
From work to relationships to personal well-being, mental challenge and illness can negatively affect one’s daily life. Considering this, it is very important that sufferers seek help. There are many medications and counseling to help manage mental health issues. And, though music therapy is commonly recognized as treatment for special needs and disabilities, it also uniquely addresses mental health issues. For those seeking mental relaxation, rejuvenation, stability and insight,music offers an emotional and expressive experience.
Music is a universal language. The temporal structure and rhythms, as well as the social interactions of music help improve cognitive and emotional well beings. Music enriches how we think, feel and behave.
Music and musical experiences can improve the quality of life for everyone.