Last week three service users from the Employment Support Programme (ESP) run by YSS took part in a mindfulness and music therapy session.

ESP offers practical and emotional support for those aged 18 plus who are in, or at risk of being involved in, the criminal justice system with mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and depression, in order to break down barriers towards employability and move them closer towards sustainable employment. The overarching aim of the service, delivered in Worcester and Telford, is addressing the challenges faced by people in becoming ready for work through group and one-to-one support, specialist mental health interventions and job-search support.

Joined by four staff members from YSS, the mindfulness and music therapy session began by focusing on mindfulness meditation with relaxation music and a focus on breathing and how to clear the mind. The therapy continued with a drumming session, which provided a great outlet for energy, stress and anxiety.

YSS staff member, Maria Williams, who took part in the session, said: “It was a really fun session! I was amazed at how much the drumming made you want to dance and move around.

“One service user who was initially too anxious to join the session and wasn’t sure he’d be able to stay for the day, spoke to me after the event to say that the drumming had really helped to ease his anxiety. As a result, I’m now helping him to find a local drumming group so he can continue to benefit from this kind of therapy, and he also plans on joining us at ESP next week. Thank you YSS for funding this session.”

Lorraine Preece, YSS Chief Executive, said: “As part of the Employment Support Programme, YSS offers group sessions, drop-in job clubs and one to one sessions providing a range of emotional and practical support for those furthest away from employment with mental health difficulties such as depression, stress or anxiety.

“All of our work is about supporting and empowering people to make positive choices and have better lives. It’s wonderful to learn that the mindfulness and music session has helped to ease anxiety and even better that the service user now feels confident and able to continue to work with YSS as part of the ESP service.”

To find out more about ESP or any of the services YSS delivers, please go to