Waterford Healing Arts Trust
The Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is one of Ireland’s leading Arts and Health programmes. Based in Waterford Regional Hospital, Ireland, WHAT supports healthcare environments and the wider community by providing multi-disciplinary arts experiences and services. Housed in a dedicated Centre for Arts and Health in the grounds of Waterford Regional Hospital, this is the first of its kind in Ireland and enables WHAT to bridge its work between the acute hospital setting and the wider community.
Between March and May 2011 the Waterford Healing Arts Trust hosted a series of six one-to-one music sessions for five clients of the Waterford Mental Health Services with enduring mental health problems in St. Otteran’s Hospital. These sessions were made possible by funding from The National Concert Hall.
Each client received 15 minutes tuition each on a one-to-one basis and the programme culminated in a public performance in the Activation Therapy Unit in St. Otteran’s Hospital on 3 May 2011.
The sessions were facilitated by WHAT musician Liam Merriman who has been working on the WHAT music programme since 2007, had participated in training with Musique et Sante in Paris and delivered training as part of the Music Network Continuing Professional Development programme.
"I thought it was brilliant. If I'm playing on my own, I feel alone. With you there, the two guitars came out brilliant.... People know all my songs. Learning a new song was a good thing. People don't know a new song. I felt at ease and could do it simple. I feel I'm getting better at it, and if I can relax I play better... Like to thank the Concert Hall. We appreciate the help they gave us. If it comes again we'd really appreciate it."
Feedback from a participant from St. Otteran’s Hospital