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Up Tempo

Inpatient and community session-based music-making opportunities for young people in touch with mental health services.

What we do

Up Tempo is a music project aimed at young people aged 16–25 who  are in touch with mental health services. The project offers a creative opportunity for young people with mental health needs to develop their lyrical and instrumental skills, increase confidence, improve health and wellbeing and act as a medium for self-expression. 

The project was initiated by Arts for Health, which is part of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) in collaboration with two community music organisations in the region, The Hive and Make Some Noise. A successful pilot project took place at one of our inpatient facilities. The staff found the project engaged people with complex mental health needs and were keen to develop this work. Up Tempo is taking place within two inpatient facilities for young people and adults, and also in the community, engaging with younger service users who are in touch with our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). 

An evaluation has been carried out by SSSFT to assess the process, engagement and outcomes of the project. Overall within the project, service users found the music sessions to be a positive experience. Some service users indicated that even though getting to the sessions could initially be challenging because of their mental health, the effort was worth making owing to the perceived positive outcomes. We hope to continue with the sessions and to create a CD of some of the songs written in the sessions – performed by both professional musicians leading the project and the participants who have written the songs.

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