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Music is power

We had a visit today from the lovely Shirley Novak, Community development manager at Newark’s Shaw mind foundation. Shirley also has a history in music and still loves to perform and record music.

The Shawmind Foundation is a mental health charity based here in Newark. The Shawmind Foundation run a café in town called Breath.
Breath is a space to be, a space to breath, a space to be with like-minded people. Breath is currently sharing a space with Lets sxcape on the market place and is open most days.

The Shawmind Foundation have also just released a community single, “Just Be You”
Six schools, one choir and over 400 voices with one powerful message. The single is available to buy from https://shawmindfoundation.org/justbeyou/ all proceeds go back to supporting people with mental health needs. Shirleyshares some really powerful story’s relating to Breaths success, to hear these you will have to listen in.

During the recording we talked about human connection, something I feel we are missing at the moment, I have said this before, as humans we are biologically wired for human connection. We live in a world now where we are more digitally connected and much less humanly connected.

Try this very simple exercise: ask the person you are with, or next with, “how are you”? when you do this look them in the eyes and really ask them.
We have all got very used to making the question, “how are you” mean nothing at all. Our stock answer is “I’m fine” when often we are not. If wecould only speak with one another, connect with one another I feel there would be less mental health issues and lower suicide rates.

We talked about other resources for poor mental health other than going to the GP. I’m not saying for a moment that you shouldn’t go to your GP but sometimes there are other avenues. There are lots of online resources, lots of self-help exercises. All of this depends on the level of discomfort you are feeling, trust that you will know what you need.

Shirley talks very passionately about her own mental health, sexuality, Christianity and music.

Music is such a powerful medium, both creating and listening to music. It connects us to past experience, it makes us feel, it evokes feelings like no other medium I know. Just a little tip for you regards music and mood: if you are feeling low and want to use music to lift your mood a little, or the


opposite, you want to bring your energy down, try to choose music that isn’ttoo far away from where your mood is. If the music is too far away from your current mood, it will feel jarring and not comforting.

Another interesting fact about music is some people will listen to the lyricsand some “feel” the music. Me? I feel the music, very rarely do I listen towords. Why? I have no idea; at the moment I haven’t worked out what thedifference is or why people do what they do. Watch this space for answers.

Shirley also made an album called “let the summer come” which was made from her time in “Mind” and funded by the lottery, the album can still be accessed from letsummercome.com.

My time with Shirley was fascinating, I loved our conversation.
If you or anyone you know has a story or experience, they would like to share about mental health, we are always looking for guests on our podcasts

These podcasts are yours, the listener, please let us know if there is a subject you would like us to cover, or a subject you would like to know more about.

Take a listen to Shirleys podcast here

Listen to the the amazing track here

Happiness and peace.

Kevin x