Music Project To Improve Mental Health Of Young People Launches in Nottingham.

A creative music project for young people across Nottinghamshire to create an album with industry professionals as a way of exploring mental health issues has been launched.

Circle of Light is collaborative music project funded by Youth Music and the National Lottery Community Fund to deliver a free-to-access project for young people aged 18 to 25 across Nottingham City and County.

The sheer volume of young people struggling with mental health issues is overwhelming with 75 percent of mental illness starting before a child reaches their 18th birthday. Nottingham also scores poorly on socio-economic indicators with almost 35 percent of city children living in poverty, which has been shown to put them at greater risk of developing mental health problems, according to the Nottinghamshire Mental Health Framework.

Internationally acclaimed and Nottingham born rapper Scor-zay-zee, who has been open about his own battles with drug addiction and schizophrenia, is on board as the lead mentor.

Along with other members of the Nottingham music and creative communities, he will lead workshops for young people at Confetti’s state-of-the-art facilities for three weeks from 15 July to 2 August 2019.

Scor-zay-zee explains: “Having firsthand experience with mental illness, I found that openly talking about it within my music has given me the chance to connect with others experiencing their own struggles. When I make music and write, I feel it’s the only place I can truly get a bit crazy. I can express my humour, my story and my feelings all without feeling vulnerable to the judgment of others.

“Getting people into one place and expressing thoughts creatively can make a real difference even if they just contribute by being in the same room. I really think human beings are very complex but in the end we all just want to feel good and feel happy. I hope by sharing my journey, I can help others who are just learning to express themselves.”

As well as writing and producing the tracks for the album, the participants will be given opportunities to design the album cover and create a music video to accompany one of the tracks.

Project lead Tricia Gardiner said: “We ran a short pilot last year and had some fantastic outcomes with young people finding the space and courage to come forward with some difficult issues around their own mental health and to share things they had never spoken about before.

“The workshops will be delivered by musicians and artists who have achieved success in their field of work and have firsthand experience of trauma and mental health and can provide inspiration to these young people to help them express their inner thoughts and feelings as a way to deal with emotional issues, mental stress, anxiety and to gain control to aid recovery.”

Circle of Light is designed to give a voice to young people who may be suffering in silence and also raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

The project will culminate in a live performance and album launch at Metronome on Thursday 10 October 2019 to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

The Circle of Light album will be professionally released by Nottingham based record label ‘I’m Not From London’ in a variety of formats including limited edition vinyl.

No previous music or performance experience is required but anyone interested is urged to apply quickly as places are limited and interest is expected to be high. A workshop programme will be released with successful applicants booked in according to their availability over the three weeks.

Participants will also be recruited through a range of partners including Mind and Double Impact. Workshops will also take place in Mansfield with the opportunity for young people to outside of the city to access free transport to take part in the workshops at Confetti.

To find out more and to apply to take part, go to www.circle-of-light.org.uk

 

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