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Music soothes the soul

Music has the power to soothe the soul. It’s a therapy that’s used in all areas of the health service to distract, reduce stress and create a sense of familiarity in an otherwise clinical environment.

Staff at the Acute Mental Health Unit at SCUH

Determined to spread the joy of music far and wide, Wishlist has helped to fund music therapy for palliative care patients at Dove Cottage, a piano for the people at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) and most recently, music equipment for mental health units across the Coast.

Mp3 players, headphones and music vouchers have been purchased to provide valuable music therapy funding for Adolescent, Adult and Acute Mental Health Units at SCUH and Nambour Hospitals as part of the ‘Music Soothes the Soul’ project.

The project allows patients to bring a little piece of home with them to hospital, by listening to their own music.

In wards with constant noise from the opening and closing of doors and the beeping of access cards, music serves as a form of distraction and entertainment for the clients.

According to staff in the Acute Mental Health Unit at SCUH, the power of music is evident in the way it can minimise the impact of auditory hallucinations and decrease boredom and frustration, therefore, creating a more peaceful environment.

Not only can it improve a client’s experience within a ward, it can also help them resume their personal life quicker – with the distraction and entertainment proven to decrease stress and, in turn, improve recovery rates.

Used as a calming resource, the music can also reduce the need for sedating medications, which can have significant side effects.

With Queensland Mental Health Week upon us, there has never been a better time to highlight the profound benefits of musical equipment.

Staff in the Acute Mental Health Unit said the headphones have been extremely well received among patients. Patients particularly appreciated the headphones’ ability block out background noise as well provide a welcomed distraction with music.

Patients with their own music on hand have enjoyed having the familiarity of their favourite tunes.

In 2018, Wishlist, thanks to the Honda Foundation grants program also provided $1483 in funding for a therapeutic drumming program in Mental Health Units at SCUH and Nambour Hospital.