Opportunity to sign up for second wellbeing workshop

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Arrangements have been made for a second mental health and wellbeing workshop which, once again, be via Zoom and led by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFAE) instructor and advocate Tabby Kerwin.

The event will be held on Tuesday 24 May, starting at 7pm.

It was against the backdrop of prolonged isolation and enforced separation from family, friends and music colleagues during the Coronavirus lockdown that SBBA pioneered a positive mental health and wellbeing strategy for member bands.

This initiative was led initially by Damian Martin, former president of SBBA's Northern Counties association, and has now been taken up by Lesley Crumlish, secretary of the West of Scotland association, who explained: “SBBA recognises the importance of supporting the mental health of its musicians and has developed a strategy to make subsidised mental health awareness training available to all its member bands.

“Our programme will not just make musicians more aware of mental health, but also give them active and practical wellbeing skills to help members to be healthy and flourish.”

SBBA was the first brass band organisation in the United Kingdom – and possibly the world – to make fully subsidised mental health awareness training available to all its members.

The first mental health and wellbeing workshop was held virtually last June and was attended by 18 people. Feedback from the event was extremely positive and a Facebook group for delegates has since been set up as a support network.

Kerryn Logan, of The Kirkintilloch Band and its youth band, commented after the first event: “The session was excellent and very informative – I don’t have anything
negative to say about it. I am definitely up for more of the same.”

And Alan Ormrod, of Coalburn Silver Band, said: “I found the session really enlightening and I'm looking forward to making inroads into this as an initiative now we have started to get back together again. We'll be looking to expand the wellbeing side of things going forward.”

Each workshop is designed for a maximum of 20 people at a time. Tabby uses national and international statistics, expert information in mental health and elements of science and positive psychology to inform the content of the sessions.

The first part of the course covers mental health awareness before moving on to wellbeing and self-care with a specific focus on the needs of musicians.

Bands are asked to contact Lesley at sbbawellbeing@gmail.com with their nominated attendee(s). While free course spaces are limited to one per band, further places are available at a cost of £30/head should bands have more than one interested party.

It is hoped that, in the development of a sound mental health culture, each band will appoint a designated Wellbeing Champion, who not only has an understanding of common mental health issues and the ability to spot early warning signals, but also possesses the skills to promote positive wellbeing and the confidence to support a person in distress.

“The Wellbeing Champion does not have to have any previous experience in the field, just empathy for their fellow human beings and an enthusiasm to help a colleague. The intention is to build up a network of support for bands across the country via the Facebook group,” Lesley added.


Got a story?

Email Nigel Martin: sbbapr@gmail.com