“I first came in contact with the raw sounds project around 4 years ago, through my work with young people in the Early Intervention inpatient service.

Part of my job is to help the young people we work with to find meaningful and fulfilling activities in their own communities, that they can pursue on discharge, and that help them during their recovery journey. The young people that we come in contact with have little or no experience of mental health services, and the aim is to integrate them back in to more mainstream activities, rather than them becoming entrenched in services.

Over the last few years, I have referred a number of people to the project with amazing outcomes. The demographic of our young people is diverse, in every area, but the common ground is music, and this service is welcomed and loved by all who attend the sessions. I have seen shy, unconfident, socially awkward people shine and blossom as a result of attending the sessions.

They are encouraged to explore their own creativity, however that manifests, and each and every person is valued and treated as an artist. This is often something that is lacking in their everyday lives, and confidence takes a battering when you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness. It gives people well needed focus, something to look forward to, social contact, a creative outlet, and a chance to express themselves that is not necessarily available in other services or projects.

There is a lack of services like this available to young and underprivileged people, and feedback from the people I work with is that they wish that there could be more sessions, and more opportunities to perform and create. The idea that the service is being downsized is heartbreaking, when in reality it should be ever expanding.

Raw sounds has become a solid favourite of the young people who use our service, and is one of the few resources that people actively request to be referred to. In a world where it is difficult to get people to engage in services and attend appointments, this service is unique in the fact that people readily attend, without needing reminders!” – Hannah Nice, Occupational Therapist, Early Intervention Unit, January 2015

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