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Staff singing success

On a Thursday night, the joyous sound of a chorus of voices singing floods the corridors of the Mental Health Service at Frankston Hospital.

The newly formed Mental Health Service staff choir is a new wellbeing initiative for staff, started by the Peninsula Health Music Therapy Department.

“This has been in the works for many months and after finding an excellent conductor, Kerry Gerraty, we were pleased to launch the choir on 4 July,” explains Music Therapist Kirsten Hillman.  

“Anyone working within the mental health service is welcome to join – its drop-in attendance choir, so staff are more than welcome to come along for a rehearsal and get a feel for whether it’s their jam!”

“Our first rehearsal was joyful, relaxing, and felt like a great way to connect with other staff within the service, whom we may not come into social contact with otherwise. After an hour, we were already doing some basic part-singing, and had learnt a whole song from ear!”

Music therapy is a research-based practice and profession in which music is used to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing.

Staff aren’t the only ones benefitting from Kirsten’s music therapy. Kirsten also works with clients in the mental health service.

“In individual and group music therapy sessions, clients engage in a range of music-based methods, including song-writing, improvisation, and music for relaxation.”

“Clients often find that music can be appropriated to support their mental health, in ways such as assisting with mood management, emotional processing and connecting with healthy aspects of their identity in recovery.”