… that I received a phone call from the mother of a 13-year-old who had a terminal diagnosis. “I know that music therapy is effective for my child, but we cannot afford services on top of all of the medical bills. Is there a way that you can help?”
Because of our partnership with Wellspring International, my answer was, “Yes, we can help. We will have a music therapist come out to your home this week and begin services at no cost to you and your family.”
We received word last Friday that our grant-funded music therapy program, Songs of Hope, will be funded for the next fiscal year by Wellspring International (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017).
What does this mean for Atlanta?
It means that hospice patients and their families, bereaved children, and refugees that are currently residing in Atlanta, will all have access to music therapy services at absolutely no cost to them.
It means that patients and their families can be supported during their darkest and most difficult times. It means that children can begin their healing process and have a supportive presence throughout their grief and loss journey. It means that refugees of all ages and from all over the world can receive support during some of life’s hardest transitions.
How has Songs of Hope already made in impact in Atlanta?
One of our partner hospice companies, Ark Hospice, says this of the Songs of Hope Music Therapy Program:
Our Ark Hospice team is truly so thankful for the services that MMT has provided to our patients and families. We have seen how their calming presence and therapeutic sessions have improved our patients’ lives. They’ve helped our patients with pain management, encouraged healthy coping skills, improved their quality of life and have facilitated emotional expression, reminiscence, and life review.
They also served many of our patients individually, and one particular patient struggled through a period of depression related to feeling purposeless in life. As Sam continued to meet with her and connect through music, he was able to help restore some confidence in her spiritual purpose and was able to provide healthy distraction from her anxiety and physical pain. He taught her coping skills that she was able to use when our team was not there to provide reassurance. She always talked about how much she enjoyed his visits and how she felt calmer and more at peace as a result.
Another patient was unable to speak English – Spanish was her native language. Erin quickly volunteered to provide services to her and was able to play Spanish hymns and folk songs. Though this patient was nonverbal and Erin was only able to provide a few sessions before she was off of hospice services, her family was extremely appreciative and truly believed that her quality of life was greatly improved during her final weeks of life. They even asked Erin to play for her Memorial Service.
I know that these brief stories cannot adequately capture all that MMT had done, but I hope that they provide a snapshot of how music therapy has impacted our hospice patients throughout their end-of-life journeys. Thank you again for all that you do at Metro Music Therapy!
We are honored, humbled, and thrilled to be able to continue our partnership with Wellspring International in order to make a positive impact in the lives and hearts of the people of Atlanta.