Investigating the impact of attending music-focused mental health events on future help seeking

McClymont, Rachel, and Krause, Amanda (2022) Investigating the impact of attending music-focused mental health events on future help seeking. In: [Presented at SysMus'22]. From: SysMus'22, 7-9 September 2022, Ghent, Belgium.

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BACKGROUND Music has long been used in therapeutic work and there is an emerging body of research that has explored the way music can be used to promote psychological well-being and self-compassion (e.g., Shum, 2020). Additional research indicates that many people do not seek mental health support due to the impact of self-stigma (e.g., Pretorius, et al., 2019; Rice, et al., 2018); yet music therapy research suggests that music can assist people in seeking mental health support (e.g., Bibb & McFerran, 2018; Hall, et al., 2019). For instance, researchers found that selfcompassion may mediate the relationship between the stigma of help-seeking an individual holds and their willingness to seek help.

AIMS The present study aimed to explore the role that music-focused mental health events might play in the promotion of psychological well-being and the mechanisms by which they may encourage people to continue to engage in activities that promote their mental health. Particularly, it investigated how attending a music-focused mental health event might promote self-compassion and self-efficacy and, in turn, how these might promote mental health help-seeking behaviors.

METHOD This mixed-methods case study focused on an event run by the Indigo Project in Australia named “Listen Up,” which combines psychology and mindfulness to create transformative journeys through music. During the event, participants engage with a curated playlist (drawing on soundtrack, ambient and experimental music) along with oral guidance provided by a psychologist. After attending Listen Up, participants (N = 232, 100% female, Mage = 36.56 SDage = 8.80) were asked to complete an online survey, including standardized measures of mindfulness, self-compassion, self-efficacy, self-stigma of help-seeking, help-seeking intentions, and well-being, along with questions probing emotions and self-reflections during the experience. A subset of participants (N = 18) was subsequently interviewed about their experience.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Analysis is currently underway; however, previous research has shown that attending Listen Up has evoked strong and complex emotions, including feelings of catharsis and self-compassion (Krause, et al., 2019). Thus, it is anticipated that the results of the current study will provide a more nuanced understanding of how event experiences are related to self-compassion and self-efficacy. The findings will also address how attending this event might influence future mental health behaviors, including prompting people to seek help. Study findings, particularly those pertaining to stigma and seeking psychological assistance, have implications for our understanding of the ways that music can be used in psychological practice to promote mental health and wellbeing.

Item ID: 76074
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: music psychology, psychology of music, social and applied psychology of music, music listening, mindfulness, self-compassion, meditation, help-seeking, stigma, mental health support
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Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 21:19
FoR Codes: 36 CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 3603 Music > 360399 Music not elsewhere classified @ 30%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 70%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1301 Arts > 130102 Music @ 30%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280121 Expanding knowledge in psychology @ 70%
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