PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH
Made with Music at The Mount
In September 2019, Arts and Minds funded a ten week music project partnership between Made with Music and the Yorkshire Regional Perinatal Mental Health Service, based at The Mount in Leeds. Research at the Royal College of Music published in 2018 showed that a group of women with moderate to severe postnatal depression symptoms improved faster in a ten week singing group compared to other interventions and we’d heard anecdotal evidence about how much music helped through our community classes from mums who had experienced postnatal depression.
There were a total of 22 adult participants involved in this service evaluation, with 16 parents, and 6 staff. 15 babies and children were also present and involved in observations. Each was informed of the aims, methods, and procedure of this research through the participant information sheet, and gave written consent (parental consent for children).
At Made with Music, we try to think about the wellbeing of parents and carers in everything that we do and so our sessions are designed to appeal to everyone by involving lots of different styles of music, and using songs and rhymes that encouraged a practical way for mums to bond with their baby.
We had some great results from the pilot; no one dropped out, everyone reported a lift in mood over each session and 100% would recommend the group to others. We wanted to run the project with more groups to check these results and see what would happen with another group of women. The Mount agreed to fund another 4 blocks of 10 weeks so that we can look at the impact and Leeds Inspired funded a continuation project of a family choir for partners and siblings to attend after they have been to the parent and baby group.
We have conducted a Service Evaluation with Sarah Hambly, research assistant at the University of Leeds and the findings are really encouraging. The family choir is the only whole family intervention offered by the perinatal mental health team which makes it unique.
You can read and download the evaluation by clicking on the pdf button. (Please let us know if you require this in a different format).
We can’t tell you about the project better than the parents who came along, so here’s one of many quotes we could have used about the sessions - you can hear the mums talking in the audio below:
‘It’s great to be able to meet other babies and other mum's and just feel really good about yourself, because it’s so easy to feel really rubbish. This just takes you away and you can really relax and release and just enjoy the moment’.
Below is further feedback on how attendees of the family choir felt throughout the project.