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Open Access Community music as a vehicle for tackling mental health-related stigma

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This paper seeks to highlight some of the key issues of the social stigma associated with mental health-related issues, to present examples of some existing anti-stigma concepts found within mental health literature and, in turn, to begin to suggest ways in which the personal and social experience of participation within community music activities may provide a means of challenging and resisting such stigma. The research involved a literature review of existing theoretical concepts surrounding mental health stigma interventions and sought to link such concepts with examples from community music and music sociology, examining concepts such as identity construction, removal and refurbishment activities and tachytopian experiences. The work of the Me2/Orchestra (Vermont, USA) is presented as a case study, with use of some supporting preliminary interview data. While hypothetical in nature at present, the article discusses the potential of community music for addressing and erasing mental health stigma.
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Keywords: COMMUNITY MUSIC; IDENTITY; MENTAL HEALTH; MUSICAL SPACE; STIGMA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 15 November 2017

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

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