St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre Uplifts Those In Need At Christmas

St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre Uplifts Those In Need At Christmas

Western Australia Minister for Mental Health and Disability Services Helen Morton

Community Choir Embodies Christmas Spirit

Victor P Taffa

  • Community choirs support mental wellbeing, inclusion and social connections
  • Ongoing State Government funding

The State Government has announced funding for a Fremantle-based choir made up of members who have experienced homelessness, hardship and mental health issues.

Attending the choir’s rehearsal ahead of their Christmas Eve performance at Bathers Beach, Mental Health and Disability Services Minister Helen Morton said members had found that singing in the Starlight Hotel Choir lifted their spirits and promoted a sense of belonging and self-worth.

 

 

 

 

The talented 30-member choir, funded by the Mental Health Commission, has evolved since 2007 from weekly singing, song writing and jam sessions at St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre. Participants include people who use St Patrick’s services and members of the wider community.

Mrs. Morton said the choir demonstrated the positive benefits of people staying connected and participating in their community, as well as the power of music.

The Minister announced that both the Starlight Hotel Choir and the Spirit of the Streets Choir in Highgate would receive ongoing funding through the Mental Health Commission to continue their positive work to foster interaction and to break down isolation and stigma about mental illness.

St. Patrick’s Community Support Centre chief executive Stephen McDermott said the choir was sought after to perform around Western Australia and regularly appeared at seniors’ homes and community events. In recent years, a number of disabled people and their carers had joined rehearsals and sang in some public performances.

“Music brings people together and this connection is powerful in maintaining mental wellbeing.” Mr. McDermott said.

“The welcoming, fun and supportive environment of the choir has helped many people turn their lives around and highlighted the positive capacity we all have to the whole community.”

Fact File

  • Funding assured until 2017 for St. Patrick’s Starlight Hotel Choir and Spirit of the Streets Choir based at St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Highgate