Meet the woman who uses punk rock music for mental health recovery

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music sessions for people with mental health problems. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

The woman behind a music and mental health drop in session in Norwich has said punk rock music saved her life.

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music sessions for people with mental health problems. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Sue Tebble, 51, from Horstead, was inspired to set up the weekly drop in session called Mind The Gap after her own experiences with mental health problems.

At age 21 Ms Tebble was sectioned and stayed as an inpatient at Hellesdon Hospital on Drayton High Road for one week.

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music sessions for people with mental health problems. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Afterwards she formed a punk rock band with her friend, called PMT, and toured the UK and Germany.

Ms Tebble, a mother-of-two, said life in a band and music were crucial to her recovery.

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music sessions for people with mental health problems. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020


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"It gives me confidence," she said, "There is something about the physicality of playing as it's almost like you're hitting out problems. I think a creative outlet is so important.

"I used music to heal myself and that's why I started my group. I wanted a safe, non-judgmental place where people can explore music.

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music

Punk rock musician, Sue Tebble, front, founder of Mind the Gap Music Collective charity weekly music sessions for people with mental health problems. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

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"Music is what kept me sane and that is why I want to pass it on to everyone else."

In 2013 Ms Tebble set up Mind The Gap, which runs on Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm at Plug Studios on Kingsway in Norwich.

It caters for people with a wide range of mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and loneliness.

She said: "It is different to other sessions where people just sit around and clap for a bit. I wanted to do something different so at Mind the Gap you can be as loud as you like.

"There isn't a structure to the sessions I just want people to be free. I just want people to form bands organically and play loud music - that's the bit that is best for your head."

Sessions, which are free to attend, attract around 25 people every week.

Ms Tebble said: "When you have a mental health problem you are isolated in your own head and that isolation can just grow and grow. I think singing all together is good for your soul as you're in doing it with other people.

"Plus it's really important to get people out and seeing other people. During the sessions there is a lot of talking too over cups of teas and people often meet up with each other outside of the sessions and form friendships."

For more information visit www.mindthegapmusic.org.uk

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