I was recently forwarded this very interesting document from the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health. It’s by Ian Morrison and Stephen Clift and is called Singing and Mental Health.
From the introduction.
This guide provides an overview of the evidence that group singing can be beneficial for mental health and wellbeing. We are not concerned with specialised music therapy as a clinical intervention. Such work is undertaken by a suitably qualified and registered music therapist in appropriate clinical settings. Hospital settings are not specifically addressed here. Singing groups can be run in hospital settings of course, but they would require collaboration with hospital staff, and attendance may be variable due to participants’ health reasons.
Our concern is to offer information and guidance on setting up singing groups for people living in the community who have experience of a diagnosed mental health condition. These include common conditions such as clinical depression or anxiety, and a wide range of other issues including obsessive-compulsive disorders, psychological addictions, self-harming behaviour and psychosis. Such singing groups may also seek to involve family, friends and carers of people with mental health issues.
The guide draws upon the experience of mental health service users in a number of well-established community singing for mental health groups as well as musicians and music therapists with considerable experience of running such groups. It draws especially upon the experience of musicians and health researchers in the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health in establishing and evaluating a network of singing groups for mental health service users and their supporters, which began in September 2009.
Download Singing and Mental Health (pdf)