AN online service which aims to promote music as an aid to battling depression is launching a fundraising campaign.
Mental health activist Maureen O’Kelly and her husband Iain Kelly want to raise £300,000 via a crowdfunding campaign to build the Music On Prescription service.
The couple were motivated to create the service after their family was touched by suicide.
The launch of their funding appeal has been timed to coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday.
The service intends to provide “free emotional first aid” to anyone suffering from depression anywhere, at any time.
Partnered by Breathing Space, Scotland’s mental health phone service, the goal of the service is to reduce the number of global suicides by bridging the time gap between people needing and receiving professional treatment.
Powered by Spotify, Music On Prescription will allow users to freely access about 30 million songs, organisers said.
By answering questions, they can then create their own “feel good” playlists - connecting music with personal memories to boost their general sense of well-being.
Users will also be sent weekly animated videos, addressing their specific issues for additional support.
Ms O’Kelly said: “One in four of us will experience mental ill-health at some point in our lifetime.
“Therefore, our aims for the service are to validate and soothe our users’ emotional pain, bridge the critical time gap between needing and receiving professional help, and to reduce the stigma of mental ill-health, helping sufferers live in a more understanding society.”
Dr Andrew Irons, a GP at Buckingham Terrace Medical Practice in Glasgow, has backed the project.
He said: “Research tells us that music can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression, particularly songs that are self-selected.
“I fully support this service and look forward to being one of the first GPs to prescribe Music On Prescription.”