First View – Report (published on 10 November 2020)
In March 2020, reports showed National Health Service (NHS) staff in the United Kingdom experienced significant strain treating COVID-19 patients. Music therapists have skills to offer in the treatment of mental health; this report describes how North London Music Therapy (NLMT) designed and ran a new Phone Support Service providing acute telephone support, rather than therapy, for NHS staff, launching three weeks before the NHS’ own support service. This report will outline the procedure for setting up the service and examine the motivations behind developing the service. NLMT received self-referrals from across the UK, with 50% of referrals accepting initial phone calls and 50% of these completing three phone support sessions. NLMT received 100% positive feedback from all participants, signposting effectively at the end of service. NLMT has been nominated for an Advancing Healthcare ESTEEM Award for the Phone Support Service, because of the speed in which it was set up and because of the service provided to key workers. The service is still available but, now the NHS has launched internal support services, NLMT’s focus has now shifted to aftercare support for key workers and their organisations.
COVID-19, mental health, Psychological First Aid, phone service, music therapy
Marianne Rizkallah, MA GSMD, is Head Music Therapist and Director of North London Music Therapy. She is the Music Therapy Outreach and Enterprise Tutor for the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and the Vice Chair of the British Association for Music Therapy. For NLMT, she works with clients of all ages with mental health concerns such as anxiety, stress and depression. As a music therapist, she has worked with clients aged from 1 to 100, with conditions as varied as psychosis, autism, learning disabilities and dementia. Marianne is also a professional singer and vocal coach. [email@example.com]