Semiahmoo House music-therapy program celebrated as sponsor found for ‘21

Music Heals initiative has helped clients deal with isolation, mental-health issues during pandemic

The music therapy program at Semiahmoo House Society will continue throughout 2021 thanks to a new sponsor. (Music Heals photo)

The music therapy program at Semiahmoo House Society will continue throughout 2021 thanks to a new sponsor. (Music Heals photo)

With World Down Syndrome Day on the horizon, the creators of a music therapy program at South Surrey’s Semiahmoo House Society are taking the opportunity to promote the program – as well as the sponsor that has allowed the program to continue in 2021.

Music Heals runs music therapy programs at a number of locations, and “supports clients at Semiahmoo (House) by bringing people together and providing a comfort, which helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression.”

A news release issued this week calls the Semiahmoo House program “a special one” that “is able to let everyone shine.”

With World Down Syndrome Day set for March 21, Music Heals organizers reached out to Peace Arch News, noting that this year’s Semiahmoo House program is to be funded by a donation from the South Surrey branch of MNP, an accounting firm.

With usual fundraisers on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers behind the music therapy program set up an online fundraising campaign called Turn Up for Music Therapy. MNP “were one of the first to donate and adopt a program,” said Music Heals’ Laryssa Vachon.

“Partnering with charitable organizations in ways that ultimately strengthens the individuals and families in our community is incredibly motivating and satisfying for our team,” said MNP’s Dave Cender.

“(Semiahmoo House’s) commitment to greatly improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families is well known in our community.”

• READ ALSO: Semiahmoo House ‘ambassador’ celebrated

Elizabeth Deschenes, the program manager at Semiahmoo House Society, said the program has helped ease isolation concerns during the ongoing pandemic.

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, so many people have experienced various and or increased levels of isolation,” she said. “We are so grateful that people are still able to enjoy the overall benefits of music while keeping them connected with their peers. Music has a magical way of bringing people together while creating pleasure and providing comfort.

“From our experience these past few months, music has been extremely helpful with reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.”

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