LIMA — Not every injury needs a doctor to heal. Sometimes, they need an orchestra.
In a nutshell, a new project helps members of the Lima Symphony Orchestra bring healing music straight to trauma and addiction victims instead of relying on them to come to see the orchestra’s work on stage.
“What’s really beautiful about this is people heal from traumatic events from their lives through sensory interventions.” Judy Lester, treatment director with Lima Behavior Health, said. We’re experiencing (traumatic events) through sounds and taste and touch and hearing. What we know as experts of trauma treatment is that healing really happens on the same sensory level.”
The orchestra has already performed at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, Coleman Behavioral Health and Union Square Apartments. On Dec. 8, a string quartet will be hosted by the Specialized Alternatives for Families of Youth of Lima at a special event at the Lima Public Library.
Lester said during the event, SAFY will be coordinating emotional intelligence exercises with classical music in order to help children find better ways to deal with the feelings and the emotions that music may revive.
As Lester explained, childhood trauma can cause long-lasting effects for individuals as they live their adult years, and since the opioid epidemic has upset so many children’s lives, it’s important to arm such children with the necessary emotional awareness required to work through traumatic events.
“Kids have strong feeling, and it erupts into behavior,” Lester said. “Our goal is to help those kids and those parents put into words what those kids are feeling.”
After winning the grant from the American Orchestras’ Futures Fund, LSO Executive Director Elizabeth Brown-Ellis said she reached out to the Mental Health & Recovery Services Board of Allen, Auglaize and Hardin Counties earlier this year, which identified four places for the quartet to play. The orchestra will continue to perform at these unique venues on a revolving basis once a month.
“Often (those dealing with mental health and addiction) are finding themselves in these emotions — seeking out destructive behaviors to deal with those emotions,” Brown-Ellis said. ”There is a way you can listen to something sad, perhaps challenging, that brings up a difficult time in your life, and (the music) will offer you solace.”
“What we’re finding is music is so universal, and it connects at a primal level. So when they’re in a state of chaos, it can reach them in a way that words can’t,” Brown-Ellis said.
The December event will be from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the basement of the Lima Public Library, 650 W. Market St. Admission is free.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.