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Military Suicide Up 20%

Six-months into this “new norm,” and everything still feels very strange and heavy.

On the way to my office this morning, I heard these statistics on the radio, and I had to take a minute to wrap my head around these numbers that were screaming out to me over the car stereo:

Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to the same period in 2019 …

And senior Army leaders — who say they’ve seen about a 30% jump in active duty suicides so far this year — told The Associated Press that they are looking at shortening combat deployments … *

Last year, the suicide rates, 20% lower than now, were still too high and unacceptable. It is overwhelming to think of each and every one of the lives that have been tragically changed because of these statistics.

I do not have all of the answers, and these situations can be so complicated; but I do know that music therapy services can help our active-duty military members and veterans. Not only does our field have the research to show this, but we have firsthand anecdotal evidence that music therapy can improve overall well-being and the outlook for the sometimes long road ahead.

Our team partners with WWP to provide in-person and telehealth music therapy services, and we are also very proud to partner with Music Therapy of the Rockies, a non-profit very near and dear to us that provides Songwriting Retreats for Veterans with PTSD.

If you or a loved-one is struggling due to military-related trauma, please know that we can help — no matter where you are. Our team now provides telehealth services to clients all over the globe, and we would be honored to walk alongside you during this crucial time.

With you in the hard times and the good,

 

 

 

 

*Read the full article from WSB News & Talk here.

MT Internship & COVID-19

Hi everybody!

My name is Merideth and I’ve recently moved from the country roads of West Virginia to the sunny, peach state of Georgia to begin my six-month music therapy internship with Metro Music Therapy. Woohoo! If you told me a year (or even 6 months ago) that I’d be interning in the midst of a global pandemic, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, here I am!

As we all know, it’s been a challenge navigating the world of technology to still successfully “see” clients but through a new lens…or in this case, a screen. Thus far, the faces I’ve had the pleasure of meeting virtually are warm and welcoming. I’m sad I’m unable to see their smiles, give them hugs, and watch them make beautiful music in person. Hopefully, one day!

This experience has already differed from my school experience in the sense that I have multiple clients per day with different diagnoses compared to one client per week. While this is a bit of a challenge at the moment, I’ve already gained more knowledge than imagined just in the two short weeks of observation. I really am excited to continue growing personally and professionally. Metro Music Therapy has given me an amazing opportunity to learn from truly some of the best clinicians as well as amazing clients. I am blessed and ready to continue this journey! Stay tuned for updates. 🙂

Merideth McClain

A COVID-19 UPDATE

UPDATED 9/1/2020:

To our Dear Clients,

It has been 6 months since we have seen each of you in-person, and boy do we feel that! We miss you all tremendously, and cannot wait until we can be together in the same room for music therapy and music lessons.

This is my reason for writing to you today: we feel the tension of both wanting to open back up and resume as much normalcy as possible, while we also know that we do not know enough just yet to do this in a safe manner.

While to you and your family it may only be 30-45 minutes with one of our staff members once a week, which sounds like low exposure, our team collectively works with over 60 families and facilities, which impacts all of our chances of potential exposure dramatically. Simply stated: in order to continue keeping your families safe, we are not ready to resume in-person services just yet.

We are closely following the CDC and WHO guidelines, and we are also keeping a pulse on the happenings around the State of Georgia. Once we feel that we can safely re-open our Studio space and return to visiting our client’s homes and facilities, I promise that you will be the first to know!

In the meantime, we have been thrilled to continue music therapy services via teletherapy and we are so grateful that we have this option. If you have opted not to participate in teletherapy up to this point, but would like to go ahead and get started, please reach out!

Thank you for your patience over the last two months as we have navigated this journey together. We are grateful for each of you!

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Mallory Even, LPMT, MT-BC
Owner & Director of Metro Music Therapy 

 

MMT Singing-gram

We all want to be together again, doing the things we love.
We want to laugh together and celebrate birthdays and weddings,
cry together and grieve the normalcy we’ve lost,
and we long to hug each other through all of it.

Our team feels this with you and we want to help you
stay connected to those you love during this time.

Be TOGETHER while social distancing.

Here’s how:

  1. Choose a date and time from our Singing-gram calendar
  2. Enter your contact information and the contact information of your loved one who will be receiving the live Singing-gram
  3. We will email the recipient (and cc you) with the link for the Singing-gram and the date and time to login (the song you choose will remain a surprise until the delivery of the Singing-gram!)
  4. The best part? You will be on the call, too, so that you can see your loved ones’ reaction! You can also send the link to other friends and family members if this is a gift from multiple people/families!

Help Spread the Word: When you post images and videos of the live Singing-gram on social media, use #MMTSinginggram and @MetroMusicTherapy to help us spread the word! You can also ask the recipient to keep the love going by nominating another recipient!

Once the Singing-gram has been delivered, and we have made you and your loved one(s) smile, please consider making a donation to Metro Music Therapy to help cover the costs of spreading cheer! (Suggested donation of $20.00 per Singing-gram: paypal.me/metromusictherapy)

April Music & Movement!

Another month at home …

We can do this!
Our team is excited to offer another chance to make music with us
through an online platform throughout the month of April!

Here’s the Deal:

  • Geared towards children ages 0-5
  • All classes ONLINE!
  • Singing, dancing, counting, learning letters, making animal noises, and meeting new friends!
  • $80 for 8 classes

 

We are here for you!

Social Distancing is not easy. We are here to help.

WE ARE PROVIDING THE FOLLOWING SERVICES ONLINE FOR CURRENT AND NEW CLIENTS:

Due to social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, we are so grateful to be able to continue our music therapy services online for all of our current clients. Teletherapy services have allowed us to safely provide for our local clients, in addition to clients scattered through the U.S. and the globe!

We are also accepting new clients at this time. Please read more about the benefits of and requirements for teletherapy here.

Healthcare providers, front-line emergency responders, and employees of school systems and educational institutions are feeling a high level of stress during this quickly evolving and ever-changing global pandemic.

Our team provides online individual and group wellness services for organizations, groups, or even families who need to intentionally carve out time to pause, process, and reflect. Learn more about our Wellness services here.

We believe that when it can be, music therapy should be conducted in-person to be able to best meet the needs of each of our clients.

We also know that being face-to-face is not an option right now, and live teletherapy may not be accessible or even appropriate for all of our clients.

If you or your loved one would benefit from curated, individualized pre-recorded musical video content from one of our therapists, which could be accessed at a time that works best for you, we can do this for you.

Please reach out to find out how!

Facility on lockdown? Trying to find and create ways to bring music and joy into the lives of your clients and patients who can’t even leave their rooms? 

We can help. Let’s schedule a time to talk about how to bring appropriate music in safe ways to your clients and patients. We have some great ideas and would love to share them with you! Here’s a list to get you started.

We want to help you during this time, to get through this time,
and to be there for you long after this is all said and done.
Please reach out; you’re not alone!

Your partner in Good Health,

Don’t Stop the Music!

Hello world!

Even if we can’t see you in person, please don’t stop the music! 

Did you know? “Listening to the music you love will make your brain release more dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter for humans’ emotional and cognitive functioning.” (more here)

We have curated a list of ways that you can continue to have music in your life, and we have even included open-window singing grams.

I. TELETHERAPY & LESSONS

We now have an online platform which allows us to connect through video and audio with our clients! You do not need an account – we just send you the link to connect via email! We know that most facilities cannot have residents and clients together in the group rooms, which means everyone under your roof needs social connection now more than ever! Here is what is needed for individual teletherapy or telelesson sessions:

  • Broadband internet (15MB/second download speed and 5MB/second upload)
  • A smart device with a built-in camera and microphone (phone/tablet/laptop)
  • A family member or staff member to help support the logistics of the session (holding the device, adjusting volume, screen placement, and physical support to ensure safety)
  • Facilities: the ability to clean each device before moving from room to room (hospital steriwipes are great!)
  • We are now accepting NEW telelesson clients! If you are ready to give it a go, complete our online survey to make sure you are all squared away!

II. RECORDED MUSIC

Facilities:

  • Take a survey with your residents and find out what their favorite music is — genre, artist, decade, etc (these conversations alone will be so valuable to them!)
  • Provide this music for residents through CD players, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube, etc.
  • Be sure to build in breaks while providing access to this music – sometimes too much stimulation can cause agitation
  • Here at MMT we call it the “45/15 rule” – 45 minutes of music listening, then at least a 15 minute break — music is only powerful when there are also times of silence
  • Check in on your residents often and watch for signs of agitation, over-stimulation, or strong emotional reactions. If any of these are present, ask the resident if they would like to take a break, and possibly change genres of music.
  • How do we feel about headphones and iPod programs? They are great for some purposes, just be cautious on when to use them! If your residents are already feeling isolated, they may want to listen out in the open of their room and have a staff member listen with them, as opposed to having headphones on and feeling even more isolated. Ask them their preference!

Families: Parents, now is your chance! You have total control over all of the ears in your house! 😉

  • Play your favorite music for them, play their grandparents’ favorite music for them
  • Ask them what their favorite songs are
  • Write songs together (this doesn’t have to be hard: think mad libs to a familiar song/tune!)
  • Have your kids call their friends and ask them to name their favorite songs, and then help your kids create a playlist on Amazon Music, Spotify, etc.
  • Show them how to share this playlist so their friends can listen
  • Turn pencils, pots and pans into drums and make a band
  • Have your kids call your parents and interview them about their favorite music, who they saw in concert when they were younger, and what songs became the most important to them throughout their years
  • Make a family anthology with everyone’s favorite titles and artists. The possibilities are endless, and the memories you make will be priceless. Your kids will always remember this time, and of dancing in the kitchen to their parents’ and grandparents’ favorite music – even if they “don’t like it now.” 😉

III. ALEXA!

  • Get smart! (speakers and TVs)
  • Families, sing-a-long videos and movies are fun! (Hint: they don’t have to be new movies … the movies from your childhood are great!)
  • If in a facility and your residents have access to smart TVs, you can access music apps on the tvs, and some apps or playlists even have visuals to go with the audio for added visual stimulation.
  • If you can, get smart speakers for your resident’s rooms, teach them how to ask Alexa to play their favorite hits!
  • If you need pricing and details for administrative purchase approval, these Amazon Echo Dots are small and pretty well-priced (make sure your facility has good wifi before purchasing!)
  • Set up a charging station in the activity therapy office so that all equipment is stored and charged safely; wipe each speaker down in between use

IV. OLD-FASHIONED SERENADE

  • Facilities: We know we can’t come in to your facility … but if the windows can open in your facility, or if your residents have patios that open to a common outdoor green, and you are in our service area, we will come to you from outside! An open-window singing-gram!
  • Reach out to us to find out more about scheduling a time for us to come make our rounds at your facility or home!

V. HOMESCHOOL BLUES?

Families, while your children are completing their homeschool or digital learning day assignments, play some music in the house to help ease some tension (for everyone)!

  • Play instrumental music with no lyrics (when our brains hear lyrics, they want to sing along which may be distracting while completing school work!)
  • Less can be more! Save the orchestral symphonies for another time in the day – for studying, go for simplistic (piano, guitar or strings, spa music, etc)
  • Place the speaker in a room that allows everyone to hear, but is not too loud or too close to a child studying — you’re going for background ambiance, not front-row rock concert
  • Play something that you will all like – no sense in making yourself tense while trying to help your kids relax 😉
  • Mix it up! Our brains like novelty and respond well to it; if the music becomes too predictable, our brains will begin picking up on patterns and anticipating what is coming next (a great exercise, but again, could be distracting!)

Let us know how we can continue to support you. We’re all in this together!

Your partner in good health,

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