Songs from Home: Developing and testing an online song writing intervention to tackle loneliness and enhance social connections in order to reduce symptoms of postnatal depression
Songs from Home is a project led by researchers from the Centre for Performance Science which is bringing the benefits of group music making online to address loneliness, social isolation, and postnatal depression in new mothers.
Poor social connections, including loneliness, are a risk factor for maternal mental illness, especially as suicide is the leading cause of mortality in the first year after women give birth. In the UK up to one in eight women will experience postnatal depression (PND) which has repercussions for fathers, mother-baby bond, and infants’ social-emotional development. Previous research conducted in the CPS has shown that music interventions can support social connections and mother-baby bond as well as reducing symptoms of PND. Building on this, Songs from Home will develop and test an online music intervention based on songwriting, with the aim of reducing loneliness and enhancing social connections through musical interactions in order to reduce symptoms of PND.
The year-long project started in April 2021 with funding from UKRI’s Loneliness and Social Isolation in Mental Health Network at UCL, and is led by George Waddell and Rosie Perkins from the CPS, with expertise in obstetrics and gynaecology provided by NHS consultant Sunita Sharma. The project is also a collaboration with Happity, the UK’s biggest platform dedicated exclusively to baby and toddler groups and classes. Co-founder Emily Tredget will provide a direct link between the researchers and new mothers experiencing these mental health struggles from across the country.