Mental Health Awareness at Forefront of Music Therapy Week

Monday, 5 August 2019, 9:39 am
Press Release: Elephant Publicity

Registered
music therapist Olly (left, guitar) works with Ryan (centre,
drums) and Daniel (right, xylophone)
at Auckland’s
Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre

Music
Therapy New Zealand presents
MUSIC THERAPY WEEK
2019
September 16 – 22
Made possible with
the support of the Hugo Charitable Trust

Music
Therapy New Zealand’s annual awareness campaign
will run from September 16 – 22 to
proudly advocate for music therapy services and the highly
qualified NZ Registered Music Therapists (NZ RMTh), as well
as celebrating the spectacular triumphs that music therapy
is having across Aotearoa.

For 2019, Music Therapy
Week will focus on Mental Health & Wellbeing within the
industry, drawing attention to the growing role of music
therapy in the mental health sector and highlighting the
benefits that professional music therapy can have on the
wellbeing of our communities. The focus this year on mental
health is linked with our current government’s wellbeing
budget, with music therapy as one of the ways access and
awareness of support for mental health can develop. Music
Therapy New Zealand recognise that this emphasis is sadly
timely within the context of the devastating trauma
inflicted directly within the Christchurch community and the
ripple effect this has had across Aotearoa.

As a
practice, music therapy is the planned use of music to
assist the health and personal growth of people with
identified needs, ranging from emotional, intellectual,
physical, and social, with practitioners in New Zealand
based in a range of medical, rehabilitation, and education
settings. Within the field of mental health, therapists work
with people experiencing psychosis, schizophrenia, dementia,
delirium, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and other
mood disorders. Due to the wide-ranging benefits of the
practice, music therapy is also increasingly being used to
assist in general wellbeing, mindfulness and stress relief,
as well as providing support for those living through the
challenges of trauma, separation, grief, and end-of-life
care.

Devin Brooks, a Registered Music Therapist in
Christchurch, is looking forward to the 2019 campaign and
being able to share more widely what they do. “We are
witnessing the ever-increasing expansion of music therapy
services throughout Aotearoa. Music Therapy Week celebrates
this incredible and significant work as well as advocating
for the professional use of music therapy by registered
music therapist as an essential role in supporting the
health and wellbeing of the people we work with.”

Linda Webb MNZM, President of Music Therapy New Zealand
(MThNZ) “It is a privilege to support the valuable work
registered music therapists carry out in Aotearoa. Music
Therapy Week provides an exciting opportunity for the public
to gain an understanding of music therapy practice across a
range of contexts, and to appreciate its potential to
contribute to building resilient individuals and cohesive
communities throughout our country. Our aim is to
progressively make a positive impact for a wider range of
New Zealanders into the future.”

A growing
field around the world, there are 15,000 board-certified
music therapists practicing globally, with approximately 70
people holding current practicing certificates in New
Zealand who are highly trained to ensure best practice and
safety for their clients. Despite the numbers and proven
benefits of music therapy, a lack of awareness and
understanding hinders the impact that this innovative
treatment style can have for a diverse range of people and
conditions. Music Therapy Week aims to create transparency
by opening this specialised practice up to the public, with
therapists and clients in the main centres offering
performances, workshops, and insights into how music therapy
works in practice.

Beginning the week on Monday 16
September, Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre
in Auckland will host a launch event to screen two
short films about music therapy in Aotearoa. The films focus
on different elements on how music therapy is benefitting
people in New Zealand, the first based in Christchurch
working with children who have experienced trauma and the
second created about Auckland’s CeleBRation Choir, a
singing group for those who have experienced a neurological
condition. A complete schedule of public events as part of
Music Therapy Week 2019 is to come.

Follow the Music
Therapy New Zealand website and Facebook page for
updates:
musictherapy.org.nz
facebook.com/MusicTherapyNewZealand/

Music
Therapy Week is proudly supported by the Hugo Charitable
Trust
hugocharitabletrust.nz/

Information and imagery available via
Dropbox

ends

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