NAMIMy colleagues at the National Alliance on Mental Illness here in Oak Park contacted me a few months ago to assist in a project they are affectionately calling NAMI Nation.  It’s an arts based approach to support and advocacy where the NAMI members have a chance to work together in performance situations to share their love of music, and use the arts for sustained wellness.  Charles Torpe and his colleagues offer open mics, a songwriting group, karaoke, free-style, and poetry slams, and art studio events.  Take a look at this video and you will learn a lot more.  I enter around 4:35 minutes so enjoy the full presentation and offer your support to this super cool program.

In the continuum of care, you can consider this program not a music therapy program, but a wellness program, or therapeutic arts program.  The goals are to embrace the performance opportunities offered to their members as a way to maintain mental health and help members create/express in a supportive environment.  As a music therapist working in community mental health, I am grateful to be able to point to this program as an example of how music is used in a wellness model serving our community members and neighbors.

Go NAMInation!

About Victoria

Singer/songwriter, guitarist, ukulele player, educator, community music therapist.

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