Music Therapy: Connecting Youth with Hope for Recovery

Music Therapy: Connecting Youth with Hope for Recovery

Music Therapy: Connecting Youth with Hope for Recovery

March is Music Therapy Awareness Month, and all month long we will be sharing stories about music therapy and our incredible team of music therapists to celebrate their profound and positive impact on patients and families at Grand River Hospital:

In the Child and Adolescent Mental Health programs, music therapy helps youth connect with their strengths and hope for recovery. A client named Beth* said that music therapy was the one thing she looked forward to during her in-patient stay at Grand River Hospital.

Beth was struggling with thoughts of suicide and difficulty coming to terms with a new diagnosis. Through experiences in both inpatient and outpatient music therapy, she found tools to express herself in a meaningful way and find healing. Beth focused on therapeutic songwriting in music therapy.

I want to share this quote from Beth herself, reflecting on the impact of this experience. She said, “Music therapy helped put my overall experience living with mental health challenges into a final product that I’m proud of and can later reflect upon. It helped me learn more about what these challenges look like and how to put it into words”.

Later, Beth shared that she felt music saved her life. There is no greater testament than these words to the importance of music therapy in our mental health programs.

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality

-- Kathleen Skinner, MMT, RP, MTA
Young Adults Program (YAP) and Transitional support services – Child and Adolescent Outpatient Psychiatry

These are the kinds of healing experiences you make possible when you support Grand River Hospital: you make music therapy a reality, and you help patients like Beth recover.

Music therapy is a clinical discipline in which Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being. They use music safely and ethically to address human needs within cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual domains.

Because of your support, the music therapy program at Grand River Hospital is rapidly evolving: it is quickly growing into a robust program that is comparable to long standing programs in the major city centres throughout Ontario. We have a team of six fantastic music therapists who work with diverse patient groups across all areas of care at both the KW and Freeport sites, and our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) music therapy program is only the third of its kind in the province.

"We are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of connecting with people in ways that are meaningful to them. Offering a diversity of therapeutic approaches embraces and respects the diversity of patients that we work with. I am very proud that our mental health program and the Grand River Hospital Foundation recognized this many years ago and began our music therapy program...Thanks for the support of our donors and the dedicated efforts of everyone involved."

John Heintzman
Department Chief of Psychiatric Medicine
Medical Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Change patients' lives for the better by supporting music therapy, and be a part of building a world class health system that provides holistic, patient-centred care right here for all of us in Kitchener-Waterloo.