NASAA Notes: July 2021

July 7, 2021

Pennsylvania: Music Therapy for Frontline Workers

Photo by Denise Jans for Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the mental health of frontline health care workers who have been caring for large numbers of acutely ill patients. A survey conducted by Mental Health America from June to September 2020 reported that 93% of health care workers surveyed experienced stress, 86% experienced anxiety, 76% reported exhaustion and burnout and 75% noted they were overwhelmed. To support well-being and resiliency among frontline health care workers, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) invested $500,000 to create an initiative with the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP) that will provide music therapy services in health care systems across the state.

Research has proved that music therapy can encourage positive changes in mood, increase a sense of control, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate, relax muscle tension and build resiliency. Such creative arts therapy in workplace settings has been found to promote well-being and psychological health, manage occupational stress and health risks at work, and strengthen organizational welfare. Music therapy can be a cost-effective and noninvasive tool to help decrease stress levels and address trauma specifically among health care workers.

HAP will serve as the lead facilitator in this partnership, under the stewardship of HAP’s seasoned health care staff. The PA Music Therapy Task Force will support HAP’s efforts and process applications. Hospital and health care systems will deliver the services, working with music therapy practitioners across the state. A pilot program marking the initial phase of the initiative will be conducted in the southeastern region of Pennsylvania. The subsequent phase will focus on the western region of the commonwealth, as well as rural communities and critical-access hospitals.

To learn more about this collaboration, contact PCA Chief of Creative Catalysts & Lifelong Learning Jamie Dunlap.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

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