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Supporting Wellbeing and Mental Health

Universally, the pandemic has had a significant impact on mental health, with many finding the increased restrictions through the winter months particularly challenging. In a study released by Ipsos Mori, six in ten Britons say they are finding it harder to stay positive during this lockdown compared to those in previous months. Across the music education sector, a sense of fatigue and uncertainty teamed with increased workload have affected practitioners and young people alike.

Below we have collated a selection of mental health and wellbeing resources aimed at musicians, educators, young people, those working in the music education sector, and anyone looking for ways to support their wellbeing. For more general mental health and wellbeing advice, the mental health charity Mind has compiled an excellent resource page about protecting your wellbeing amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, along with practical advice and support around health, legal, and financial anxieties. Read it here.

Mind also have a telephone helpline on 0300 123 3393. For mental health emergencies, please call your GP or NHS 111 and they will help you to access immediate medical support.

 


Music Mark Resources and Events
Following the first national lockdown, back in April we commissioned Wellbeing & Resilience Consultant & Trainer Rachel Pink of Lotus Development and Learning to write an article exploring practical tips and techniques to manage wellbeing in light of the pandemic. She later led a Member Webinar focusing on these techniques, which is available for Music Mark members to watch again here.

On 27th April, coach and practitioner Tamba Roy will be running a Member Webinar focussing on practical ways to support the wellbeing of teachers. You can book onto the webinar here, and read an article by Tamba exploring some of his strategies.

Music Mark is also developing network groups, mentoring programmes, and regular Big Meets to facilitate networking across the sector. Visit our Events page to explore and find out more.

Help Musicians Mental health directory and Music Minds Matter 
Help Musicians share a directory of key mental health service providers here. Their campaign #MusicMindsMatter signposts advice, clinical pathways and professional therapeutic services to all musicians in need, including a 24/7 support line and service. Help Musicians also commissioned the largest known academic study into musicians’ mental health, ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’ which you can find out more about here.

BAPAM Free physical and mental health webinars
BAPAM (The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine) run regular training sessions and events, including regular Community Drop in sessions supporting performing artists to sustain healthy practices, physically and mentally. Find out more here.  To stay informed about their news and events, you can also sign up to their newsletter here.

Education Support
Education Support is the only UK charity dedicated to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of education staff in schools, colleges and universities. Visit their resource about the ABC Cognitive Behavioural Tool – a useful model which can help teachers and education staff to work out what we are telling ourselves that feels life threatening when we get stressed or have emotional responses like anger, frustration and irritation. Education Support also offer confidential 24/7 telephone support and counselling service, free and available to all serving and retired teachers, lecturers and staff in education. Find out more here.

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England
MHFA offer expert guidance and training to support mental health in the workplace and beyond. They have a range of free downloadable resources and toolkits for your workplace, school or community, including advice on homeworking, ways to address stress, and tips to support your mental health while working from home. They also offer a range of online Mental Health First Aid courses.

BBC Teach
BBC Teach have launched a new support and wellbeing space to help teachers through the stress and pressures of the school year. Their Teacher Support page includes articles and videos aimed at supporting teachers in this tricky period, including their Confessions of a Teacher collection.

ISM (The Incorporated Society of Musicians)
Nick Gendler, a career coach and therapist with particular experience of working with musicians and people in the creative arts, explores how to look after mental health during the pandemic in this article. The ISM also share a practical guide to home working from ISM partner PhysioMed, looking at how to set up an ergonomic home-working station to avoid back pain.

Culture Amp
Culture Amp has a wide collection of resources and articles exploring employee morale and wellbeing in the workplace, especially whilst working remotely. This article examines how best to support your team through crisis from a managerial perspective. Other great pieces include the importance of switching off for employee wellbeing and handling the very real prospect of burnout.

The Happy Flutist
Though created with flautists and musicians in mind, the guided visualisations, podcasts, relaxation music and videos shared on The Happy Flutist are applicable to all. The site is a pit-stop to recharge for as little as 10 minutes with completely free resources guiding us to greater mindfulness. Find out more here. 

Space to Breathe
Space to Breathe is a Sheffield based CIC which shares tools to help you flourish in everyday life, with great articles and blogs such as this one about redefining resilience. They also offer 30-minute wellbeing check-ins available to anybody who lives in the Sheffield area. Those living elsewhere can still sign up to their mailing list for tips, resources and blogs delivered straight to your inbox. You can check your council to see what mental health provision is available in your local area.

 #CanDoMusic
For Youth Mental Health Day 2020 #CanDoMusic released a blog exploring Music and Wellbeing which you can read here. CanDoMusic.org signposts teachers and educators to practical teaching resources, championing the safe continuation of music. Visit the site here.

Facebook Groups
The importance of community to combat the sense of isolation which can develop when working from home cannot be understated.  There are a number of Facebook groups which those across the music-education sector might find helpful; ‘Teaching Music Mindfully’ is a free Facebook group for instrumental/ vocal teachers with discussion and resources on applying mindfulness to teaching. Other groups to note include ‘Raise your voice: Music in Schools’, ‘KS3 Music – Hints and Tips’, and ‘Music OFSTED Deep Dives’.

Soundcastle
Soundcastle have a free online community for music practitioners to support wellbeing and development with events, video channels and lots of conversation. Visit the community here.

Association of Chairs
The Association of Chairs have put together a page of wellbeing resources and practical resources to help take care of ourselves. Association of Chairs is a membership organisation and registered charity which exists to support people chairing charities and not-for-profits in the UK. Visit their page here.

Musician’s Maintenance
Musician’s Maintenance have lots of information on healthy playing and injury prevention. They’ve put together this simple, short (less than five minutes) warm-up routine which is ideal for the start of lessons or before practising. Try it here.

Singing for Health Network
A new membership network to bridge research and practice in this growing field, and support a Singing for Health movement. Featuring easy-to-digest summaries of relevant research, articles by leading practitioners, events and signposting across a range of settings and health conditions. Visit the network. 

 


Supporting Children and Young People

Below are some resources aimed specifically at supporting the mental health of children and young people.

Young Minds

Young Minds are the UK’s leading charity fighting for children and young people’s mental health. They offer a wide range of training courses and workshops, as well as a dedicated Young Minds blog sharing the perspectives of young people. Visit the blog here.

Out of the Ark
Out of the Ark Music is home to hundreds of singing resources for primary schools, and they have recently put together a playlist to help you and your school through these challenging times. They have collected songs that instil a sense of belonging are great for helping children feel safe and cared for. Find out more here. You can also find on their page a guest blog by John Dabell exploring ‘Why Singing Is Good For Pupil Well-Being’.

Mentally Healthy Schools
As well as their helpful blog post ‘10 tips for teaching and support staff’, Mentally Healthy Schools have a wealth of resources designed for school staff supporting children and young people’s mental health. Take a look at their termly wellbeing calendars here.

Tamba Roy
Education Consultant Tamba Roy provides tools and practical strategies for supporting wellbeing in children as well as adults. His site includes a series of short videos that parents and teachers can use to support the wellbeing of children along with a wealth of resources categorised by age range.

Tamba has also written an article for Music Mark, outlining some practical ways to support the wellbeing of teachers. He will be leading a webinar on 27th April exploring this topic in further detail. Sign up here.

 

This page will be updated as and when our partner organisations share resources with us. If you have a resource you’d like to share with our membership please get in touch at info@musicmark.org.uk

 

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The UK Association for Music Education

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