Over the past 10 years, SoCo has developed a number of programmes that support adults facing challenges around their mental health, working in partnership with support providers such as Solent Mind, MCCH (now Choice Support) and Southern Health. At the heart of this creative intervention is a strong focus on collaboration and expression through participant-led activities that enable the development of vital support networks.
Activities ranging from songwriting, live performance and poetry to music production, photography and film-making have all supported improvements in participants’ mental health and general wellbeing. These have been delivered to adults in supported living accommodation, high-secure mental health units and in community support groups.
In addition to developing participants creative skills, these activities raise self-confidence and self-esteem and provide a create outlet for self-expression. They also support increased independence and decision making, enabling learners to be active participants in their own wellbeing.
SoCo’s Mental Health Peer Support Music Group
We have also supported the development of peer-support groups in the community, with SoCo’s Mental Health Peer Support Music Group having been a vital part of our Adult Learning Programme over the past decade. Formerly run by Southern Health, SoCo opened it’s doors to the group when Bedford House closed in 2010 and the group continued to meet weekly for the next 7 years.
The group promotes the development of peer support learning through musical performance, songwriting and recording that spans a range of musical genres and we have seen first hand the huge benefits consistent engagement in the arts brings to those with mental health issues. This group has enabled participants to develop friendships and social networks that have reached far beyond that of conventional support.
“If it hadn’t have been for SoCo, a very important therapeutic facility would have been lost in the city. This is a stable group and is the foundations of many other groups that have come out of it”
– participant of SoCo’s Mental Health Peer Support Music Group