The Connection Between Music and Mental Health

Statistics on Youth and Mental Health

Here are a few mental health stats on youth:

  • Most youth living with a mental illness experience symptoms before age 18, but only 1 in 5 children, in Canada, receive appropriate mental health services.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 34.
  • Approximately 20% of Canadian youth are affected by either a mental illness or a disorder.
  • Problematic substance use is sometimes linked to poor mental health or mental illness; it can be a coping strategy for untreated trauma, pain, challenging thoughts or emotions, or other health symptoms.

Some warning signs to look for in young people are extreme anxiety, extreme moods, feelings of hopelessness, anger, changes in patterns like sleeping or eating, self-injury.

The Connection Between Music and Mental Health

Music can create significant improvements in mental health. Playing a musical instrument involves both sides of your brain. The left side controls logic and the right side controls the playing. This helps improve memory, increases grey matter, and can help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression.

Music can have a clear and immediate impact on our well-being:

  • It can ease us to sleep by using a soothing playlist.
  • It can help motivate us to exercise.
  • It can aid in self-expression through singing.
  • It can connect us to others through live, musical performances.

Active music-making truly engages your entire brain. It not only creates the largest potential for distraction, but also aids in pain reduction, cognition, fine and gross motor development, and expression. In addition, some instruments are designed to be easier to access and learn.

CHV’s New Music Room

By popular demand, one of the rooms in our new building underwent a bit of a transformation. With the addition of extra insulation and a plethora of instruments, CHV was able to accommodate the request by youth.

The new music room at CHV is a safe space where youth can go to learn an instrument, improve their skills, and improve peer relationships by playing together.

Currently, the music room has guitars, a banjo, assorted percussion, keyboards, accordions, microphones, amps, and a large monitor.

Combined with counselling, the art therapy room, meditation/yoga room, fitness room, and gymnasium, youth have an array of services and programs to help support them and holistically help them improve their mental health.

How You Can Help Youth Improve Their Mental Health

Covenant House Vancouver is over 90% privately funded. That means that the life-changing work that we do relies on community support. If you would like to help youth overcome trauma and improve their mental health, starting May 15th, Covenant House Vancouver’s Double Match Campaign is on! That means that any donation made from May 15th to June 30th will be matched. This way you can double your impact when you support vulnerable youth. Visit our website here to donate.