Music is powerful.
It can invigorate, comfort and heal. It provides people with a sense of community and belonging.
Music can also help you care for your mental health.
Starting July 2019, people are invited to use #Thanks2Music to take part in the online conversation highlighting the role of music in caring for our mental health. The campaign goal is to raise money to support music therapy and mental health initiatives at the Montreal General Hospital.
To participate or to make a gift, visit thanks2music.ca.
Thanks to music, we cope, we feel, we heal
Fundraising and spreading the word, one note at a time
Grammy-nominated artist and Montrealer, Leighton James (Adventure Club), has joined forces with the Montreal General Hospital Foundation and launched a fundraising campaign to support music therapy and spark a conversation about the importance of music in caring for our mental health. With #Thanks2Music, we are aiming to dismantle the stigma around mental health and raise money to support music therapy and mental health initiatives.
Leighton was inspired to start the campaign when he met with the MusiArt Choir, a group composed of psychiatry outpatients at the Montreal General Hospital (MGH). By composing and singing their own songs, the choir finds new ways of expressing themselves. They develop friendships with each other and, most of all enjoy a pressure – and judgement-free zone.
‟Watching the choir perform had an incredible impact on me,” explains Leighton. ‟I could feel how they connected with the music and their profound joy in being together and focusing on something they love. We’re all human, and no one is immune to mental health issues. With #Thanks2Music, we wanted to start a conversation, connect people and enhance the sense of community created thanks to music. We want people to know that they are not alone, they should not feel ashamed and that there are resources that are there to help them. ”
In addition to the conversation on social media, #Thanks2Music also aims to raise money through thanks2music.ca, to support music therapy and mental health programs at the MGH. To get things started, Leighton has donated the proceeds from his upcoming performance with his Electronic Dance Music duo, Adventure Club, at Festival IleSoniq. He has also invited friends, colleagues and fans to join him in spreading the word and giving if they can.
‟Mental health is one of our hospital’s key areas of expertise,” noted Jean-Guy Gourdeau, President and CEO of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. ‟Over the next few years, all mental health services provided by the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) will be located at the Montreal General Hospital. We are very proud of our mental health initiatives and programs and mostly, of the difference they make in people’s lives. These services rely on philanthropic support and with the involvement of ambassadors like Leighton and donors from our community, our goal is to make those initiatives available to more people.”
Turning challenges into opportunities to help others
‟A lot of musicians suffer from mental health issues,” adds Leighton. ‟Life on the road is not always easy. A lot of us suffer from anxiety or from the repercussions of going through so many peaks of adrenaline. But music also helps us refocus, and hearing from fans that our music has helped them go through rough patches in their lives reminds us why we chose this path. As a kid, music helped me escape. I had body image issues and was bullied, but coming home to my piano and getting a break from everything else helped me overcome it all.”
Music plays an important role in regulating our mood and energy level throughout the day. In a world of global communication and online activity, music can also provide people with a sense of community and belonging. As one in five people will experience mental illness in their lifetime, music often plays the role of first line of defense. It can invigorate, comfort, heal and help us care for our mental health.
To learn more about the #Thanks2music campaign or to make a gift to support music therapy and mental health initiatives at the Montreal General Hospital, visit thanks2music.ca.