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Issue 6140

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SBBA to host mental health workshop

Saturday 14 May, 2022

Arrangements have been made by the Scottish Brass Band Association for a second mental health and wellbeing workshop.

The workshop will take place via Zoom, led by Mental Health First Aid England (MHFAE) instructor and advocate, Tabby Kerwin. It will be held on Tuesday, May 24, starting at 7pm.

It was against the backdrop of prolonged isolation and enforced separation from family, friends and music colleagues during the COVID-19 lockdown that SBBA pioneered a positive mental health and wellbeing strategy for member bands.

Lesley Crumlish, secretary of SBBA’s West of Scotland association, who is now leading the initiative, 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.”

It is thought SBBA was the first brass band organisation in the United Kingdom to make fully-subsidised mental health awareness training available to all its members.

The first mental health and wellbeing workshop was held virtually in June 2021 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.

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 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 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.

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Issue 6139 digital May 12, 2022