Tonic Music for Mental Health runs two programmes.

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Creative mental health support to promote Recovery Through Music  free choirs and creative workshops.

Promoting good mental health in the music industry  free training and support for music industry professionals.

 

MISSION

Our mission is to raise mental health awareness, challenge stigma and promote mental wellbeing through music and the arts.

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 What We Do 

Tonic Music for Mental Health is a charity based on the south coast of England. We raise mental health awareness, challenge stigma and promote mental wellbeing through music and the arts. We already have a proud history and have helped many isolated and vulnerable people in our community.

 Recovery Through Music 

The Recovery Through Music programme provides safe and supportive environments for people to come together, learn new skills, get creative, make new friends, and build a support network.

Our Creative Workshops include vocals, guitar, bass, art & craft, creative writing and performance anxiety.

We have two choirs – the Tonic Ska Choir and the Tonic Punk Choir. The choirs perform at gigs, festivals, rallies and events, as well as recording covers in a professional recording studio.

All of these free services help people to build their resilience, self-esteem and confidence through positive risk-taking, accomplishment and artistic expression. We support people both within and outside of mental healthcare services.

We also offer one-to-one tuition for a small donation, and collaborate with the NHS and local authorities to provide music workshops further afield. ​Tonic services complement the traditional support provided by public sector mental health services.

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 Tonic Rider 

The innovative Tonic Rider programme promotes good mental health in the music industry by providing free training and support to music industry professionals, both remotely and at venues.

Many people working in the music industry experience mental health issues. They can be brought on by the highs and the lows, the touring, the late nights, and the lifestyle. The industry can be volatile and competitive, with no financial security. This leaves people vulnerable to developing mental health issues.

Tonic Rider addresses this by providing mental health-related training and support, tailored to the music industry. Our training and support includes a Peer Support Group, Mental Health First Aid and Suicide First Aid Lite training, mental health guides, Tonic stands at festivals and events, and various other groups, workshops and courses.

 Tonic Outreach 

We raise awareness, run campaigns and promote our cause at fundraisers, festivals and arts-based events. We also perform at these events to showcase the work that we do, giving our Tonic community the opportunity to perform in a safe and supportive environment. Much of our outreach work is done in association with artists, bands, venues and event organisers. We have established an excellent reputation within the music industry.

The Never Mind the Stigma campaign provides pop-up Tonic stands at gigs, festivals and events. We provide information, promote our cause, and raise funds to keep Tonic services free for those in need – we have always excelled at raising funds through grassroots activity. The presence of our stands at events helps to increase awareness, encourage discussion and reduce stigma.

We sell Tonic-branded merchandise to raise awareness, promote our cause and generate income.

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 Opportunities 

We offer volunteering opportunities, both in-house and at events, providing people with transferable skills that can help them find employment. We also offer student placements.

We provide fundraising opportunities, including skydiving and wingwalking. Tonic Rider was launched with funds raised at our annual Tonic wingwalking event – Barry’s Flying Circus.

We give free event tickets to Tonic users and provide the support needed to help those isolated by mental illness to attend events and connect with their community.

We support people to produce music by providing access to recording sessions. We also donate instruments to those in need.

 Other activities 

We provide information, advice and support, often working in partnership with other providers such as the NHS. Where we cannot provide direct support, we offer signposting to the appropriate services. Tonic users are always welcome into the shop for a hot drink and a chat.

We participate in music industry discussions about the relationship between music and mental health. We provide education and training at events, conferences and seminars.

We undertake research to evaluate the effectiveness of the Tonic project and improve our services. Our methodology is supported by mental health practitioners and academics.

All of our activity is designed and run from the perspective of both service givers and service users, and so is considerate of the needs of everyone involved.

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Our Values

We believe that participation in music and the arts can promote and sustain the mental wellbeing of everyone involved.

We believe in standing up for the rights of people suffering from mental illness, who deserve hope, support and respect.

We believe in a recovery-based approach to mental healthcare. People’s lives should be about more than just survival.

We believe that finding purpose and a sense of belonging can be an effective tonic for mental illness.

We believe that the stigmatisation, discrimination and marginalisation of people suffering from mental illness is an injustice that needs to be put right.

We believe that discussion, education and inclusion are a means to reducing stigma and breaking down barriers.

We believe that participation in music and the creative arts can support people in their recovery from mental illness, and empower them to become the best versions of themselves. Creative therapies have long been known to aid in recovery.

We believe that the practice of waiting for people to reach crisis, and then treating them at great expense – as the public sector model currently does – is failing some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Tonic aims to prevent crisis in the first place, by lifting people up before they hit rock bottom. Early intervention saves lives.

We believe in parity of esteem. There should be equality between physical and mental healthcare.

We believe in the importance of trust, which is built through the transparency and integrity of our organisation.

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VISION

We strive for a world where people suffering from mental illness are no longer marginalised – an inclusive and just world, where people suffering from mental illness have the hope, support and respect they deserve.

We strive for a future where those facing adversity through mental illness feel safe and supported – a future where we have the services needed to achieve good mental health and emotional wellbeing for all.

We see an opportunity to achieve this.

By providing non-clinical community environments in which people can find purpose and a sense of belonging, we can support people in their recovery from mental illness.

By normalising the participation of people suffering from mental illness, we can break the stigma and create a kind and inclusive society.

By promoting mental wellbeing through music and the arts, we can give people the hope, support and respect they deserve.