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Mixing music and recovery: Nurse hopes to make record with mental health trust users

PUBLISHED: 17:54 31 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:54 31 October 2019

Back row: L-R: Terry Thomas; Lindsay Sadler, clinical team leader; Karl Roberts; Chris Price; Becki Phillips, staff nurse. Front row (from left to right): Simon Osborne, clinical support worker; Jon Parrish; and Tyron Bleach, service user Picture: PAGEPIX

Back row: L-R: Terry Thomas; Lindsay Sadler, clinical team leader; Karl Roberts; Chris Price; Becki Phillips, staff nurse. Front row (from left to right): Simon Osborne, clinical support worker; Jon Parrish; and Tyron Bleach, service user Picture: PAGEPIX

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A new music group is helping men at a mental health unit to express their feelings.

Staff nurse Chris Price Picture: PAGEPIXStaff nurse Chris Price Picture: PAGEPIX

A new industry standard music production suite has been installed at the Foxhall House unit run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

Chris Price, who works as a clinical support worker at the unit, has a degree in music production and set up a group for the service's users to help them express their feelings.

Mr Price said: "The service users who have been coming along on Monday evenings have really enjoyed it and have found the sessions helpful.

"When they are in there doing their own music, they unleash their creative side which helps them to express their feelings.

Tyron Bleach and Becki Phillips using the new music facilities Picture: PAGEPIXTyron Bleach and Becki Phillips using the new music facilities Picture: PAGEPIX

"It's something they look forward to and helps them put their troubles to one side, takes them to a better place and gives them a real lift.

"At this early stage, some service users are choosing to observe and listen rather than take part but I'm hopeful that will change over time.

"I want as many of them as possible - and staff - to join the Foxhall Music Group and, ultimately, I'd like to make a record where everyone is contributing, even if it's only by clicking their fingers or clapping their hands."

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Much of the equipment used in the centre has been donated by music production companies with Mr Price also raising funds with a charity swim to help purchase more equipment.

One of those taking part in the sessions is 32-year-old Jon Parrish.

He said: "The group gives meaning and I enjoy every second of it.

"I enjoy being able to express myself through rapping, and the opportunity to take part in the group gives me a good feeling.

Thousands of pounds worth of technology has been donated to the project Picture: PAGEPIXThousands of pounds worth of technology has been donated to the project Picture: PAGEPIX

"Being able to connect words and lyrics to the music gives another dimension to my overall wellbeing."

Lindsay Sadler, clinical team leader at Foxhall House, said: "The music group that Chris has put together has proven to be a huge hit with the staff and service users.

"Everyone looks forward to the sessions and we have seen significant therapeutic value in how the service users are able to use the group for creative purposes.

"The group is a supportive environment where Chris has encouraged the service users to learn and be educated in the use of the music equipment.

Terry Thomas, Simon Osborne, Karl Roberts, Jon Parrish and Chris Price try out the facilities Picture: PAGEPIXTerry Thomas, Simon Osborne, Karl Roberts, Jon Parrish and Chris Price try out the facilities Picture: PAGEPIX

"We have found that as the group has developed, confidence in our service users has grown and more people have been attracted to it. We have found participation an important aspect of everyone's recovery pathway which has also supported everyone's emotional wellbeing."

With much of the equipment being portable it is hoped that the music suite will be able to be used to help other people within the trust in the future.

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