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Innovative partnership boosts young people’s recovery

Scores of young people with mental health problems are gaining confidence, learning new skills and getting help to express themselves thanks to an innovative partnership which is boosting their recovery.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been working with Bury St Edmunds-based Noise Solution to offer service users the chance to make music, write blogs and express themselves via social media as part of their treatment.

The initiative has proved especially successful with people who find it hard to engage with traditional services. It gives them the chance to express themselves through music and lyrics while also writing their own blog, which their mental health practitioner, care coordinator, family and friends are able to read so they can keep track of each individual’s progress.

Mike Seaman, Acute Service Manager (Suffolk West) at the Trust, said: “Young people who are losing their way can find it really difficult to engage with more traditional services, but find this refreshing new approach much easier and more effective.

“We have seen an incredible turn around in many of these service users. Working with Noise Solution is really positive and recovery-focussed, and instils real hope in them while helping channel their emotions.

“Encouraging service users to engage in this way can stop people from spiralling into crisis, while reading their blogs can also help us understand the way they are feeling, in turn helping inform our care plans. In other cases, attending sessions with Noise Solution has helped people to recover faster, in turn allowing us to discharge them from our care.

“You really can see a difference in these young people. They can come into the service being quite insular, but by the end of the project have grown in confidence and self-esteem, with some even going on to study for music qualifications. The feedback we’ve had from schools, families and the young people themselves has also been great, as they can’t believe the difference they are seeing.”

The programme run by Noise Solution is evidence-based and delivered by professional musicians, who help participants make the type of music of their choice, from hip hop to drum and bass, techno to trance and folk to death metal.

Simon Glenister, Director of Noise Solution, said: “Music is a fantastic, non-threatening way of starting a dialogue as it’s something people are passionate about. We are working through the strengths they already have, not the ‘problems’ they have experienced.

“Discovering that it is possible to be good at creating music is hugely affirming. This, combined with Noise Solution’s ability to highlight and share that success with family, peers and other professionals through our use of social media, helps to build confidence.”

For more information about Noise Solution, visit  

Photo courtesy of Noise Solution