Beat of a new drum to help carers’ confidence

Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times
Pathways Southwest staff members Lea McDonald, Rose Walker, Wendy Oliver and Steve Blackwell take part in the new Drumbeat program.
Camera IconPathways Southwest staff members Lea McDonald, Rose Walker, Wendy Oliver and Steve Blackwell take part in the new Drumbeat program.

Pathways Southwest chief executive officer Dr Richard Oades is urging carers to take part in the organisation’s Drumbeat program as part of Carer’s Week.

The program is a music-based intervention aimed at reducing social isolation and increasing self esteem.

Dr Oades said Drumbeat was a process for carers and the people they cared for to get together and break the cycle of isolation.

“Carers take on the role of caring for people because they think they have to and we try to develop some social events around being a carer so they can talk to other people,” he said.

“The people affected by mental health become more and more isolated from their mental illness so we try to bring them out and give them some confidence.

“It is about encouraging people to live the life they should be living.”

Dr Oades said the program encouraged people to get together and play music on drums as a form of therapy.

“It is found to be very therapeutic due to the rhythm and also to play something in conjunction with someone else.

“It is about increasing the communication between people by using another medium.”

Dr Oades said he had received positive feedback from people engaged in Drumbeat.

“They all do a feedback process and they have reported having a lot more confidence as one of the major results,” he said.

“One of the major benefits is actually developing confidence in themselves and being able to do things themselves.

“Some people involved have said that they can’t play an instrument but are able to play these drums.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails