Music therapy has been consistently put forward by organisations such as Nordoff Robbins, to help those with a variety of disabilities and difficulties, including autism, dementia, neurological disorders and those suffering from drug and alcohol problems.
It's much like mental illness, with mental illness I see glimpses of life occasionally, like feeling the sun on my skin or smiling at someone and seeing them smile back. The little glimpses of life, of freedom from this illness that remind me that it is out there and it is possible.
Now in my fourth year of a part time PhD I am attempting to tell the stories of stressed, anxious and depressed teachers in a different way and carry on the conversation. If you are reading this and would like to tell me your story for this project then please let me know. And if you are out there, in distress, talk to someone.
Depression is often accompanied by shame, and people try to hide their symptoms. We know from statistics that men find it harder to admit to depression or anxiety, which is why three times more men commit suicide than women.
Men are four times more likely to kill themselves than women. It's thought to be the biggest cause of death for men under the age of 50. On average, a hundred men die in this way every week. And this figure has been steadily rising over the last 14 years.
How am I? Honestly! I'm overwhelmed by sorrow, crushed by the sadness that spirals around my mind and tells me what I'm missing out on, the memories and opportunities that are being buried or cremated instead of lived because of this mental illness.
It isn't just mental illness that we hide in our 'I am fines' it is also our physical illness, our money worries, family problems, loss and loneliness-the list is endless. The majority of us bottle it up in this fast-paced society.
You may find yourself asking why you should care about what I am saying or you may sit back and admire the great steaming dump you have left - however, mental health conditions affect one in four people including myself and on behalf of those with mental health issues I would like to say, we are sick of dealing with your shit.
As I navigate the straights and narrows of intimate connections, I am struck by the difference between being righteous and defensive and my willingness to look at my behavior from the reactions I get from others.
Knowing how the system works won't magic any more money into the pot, but if you don't know you're being undersold you can't challenge it. Get clued-up, and don't quit until you get what you're entitled to.
Walking is a great metaphor for getting unstuck and moving forward - you can only walk when you put one foot in front of the other. You don't worry you cannot cover the distance because you learn that's all you have to do, keep putting that foot forward.
Not everyone understands what depression is. They just see it as going through a tough spot. At times, they will say that people with depression should just "snap out of it" or to "pull yourself together".
Not being able to come into the office to do your job because of some thoughts and emotions that you're finding difficult to deal with is alien to a lot of people, and often not taken seriously as a debilitating illness.
How many times can you remind people that it's one in four who have a mental disorder, that means if we prohibited everyone with a mental illness from working there would be empty floorboards in the boardrooms.
I've never had clinical depression, but I've experienced sadness so deep and engulfing it stole me for a while. I've felt desperately hopeless at times and on others frighteningly disengaged. I don't know how it was that I found my way through. I just did.
Depression can be deeply distressing and seriously impede someone's life. When I confronted how severe my depression was it hurt because I had to deal with the inability to do tasks I was so sure of. Temporarily.