Raise Your Voice Project
It’s a complicated and stressful world we’re all experiencing so you’d think talking to each other about our mental wellbeing would be top priority....sadly nothing could be further from the truth.
There’s a lot of fear, misunderstanding and stigma about mental health, so we keep quiet. Something so important and we’re frightened to say anything ? It just doesn't seem right!
As a community choir with roots in singing for mental wellbeing we know music can comfort and inspire. We also know that feeling at ease about talking about your mental health is a good thing too.
After all - we all have physical health and we all have mental health and we need to look after BOTH!
That’s why, as a choir, we actively encourage people to talk about their mental wellbeing to help put paid to stigma and myths about mental health issues.
In 2013-14 we ran a really successful project we called ‘Raise Your Voice’, funded by Time To Change*. Over an eighteen month period we held ten, free, one day song writing workshops in the community, themed around mental wellbeing, led by our Musical Director Chris Snell and facilitated by ichoir members.
The workshops were an inspirational experience and people were wonderfully open in expressing their thoughts and feelings. Words and ideas were turned into lyrics, Chris wrote the music for the songs and the choir recorded them. ( In fact some of the people who attended the workshops ended up singing lead vocals and the choir sang back up!)
Over the years since then people have told us the songs have been a support to them.
You can watch a video here of us singing one of the songs (video made for us by JMU media students) :
'Keep Me In The Light' https://youtu.be/8K6isWkLqIY
Time to Change is a growing social movement working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems.
Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund. The campaign is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.