Mental health business Totally Flawed links counsellors with creatives

Rock drummer and tutor Hayley Cramer

Rock drummer and tutor Hayley Cramer - Credit: Totally Flawed

A counsellor is planning a series of courses on the likes of drumming, fashion and song-writing as part of a project to teach people about mental health conditions.

Amy Walshe set up Totally Flawed to link up creatives and mental health practitioners to run events and workshops together, with the aim to "take away the element of fear" that people might feel when thinking about visiting a counsellor in a formal setting.

The idea is to provide an alternative way of understanding and easing conditions like anxiety and depression, while learning a fun skill in a relaxed atmosphere.

The first eight-week course of weekly drumming workshops, called ‘Off Beat’, will be running at Platform Islington in Hornsey Road Baths, Tiltman Place, from May 19.    

Hosted by professional drummers, the hour-long group sessions for adults will teach the basics of holding sticks and maintaining a simple rhythm.


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They will also learn about how to recognise anxiety, where it sits within the body, and how to use the drums to counter it.

A trained counsellor will also be on hand to signpost available services for further mental health support.  

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Ms Walshe said “Having worked in both a pastoral position and within the creative industries, I found that mental health issues are incredibly prevalent.

"It is so expensive to access counselling and people end up waiting years to access the right help through the NHS.

"The inspiration for this project came from some of the mental health challenges I developed as a teenager, which I had no understanding of at the time.

“I think this course stands apart because we have amazing tutors that will help ground students along with a trained counsellor who can provide psychological support."

Once ‘Off Beat’ is up and running, Amy wants to launch a range of different programmes geared towards improving mental health, including a ‘Dress to Express’ workshop and a song-writing course.  

Anyone who signs up to Totally Flawed's newsletter by May 16 is in for the chance to win a free place on the course, which usually costs £99.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help with the cost of equipment and counselling bursaries. See bit.ly/3eLVX6X.

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