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A New Year, and what a whirlwind January has been. And it’s not over yet!

Disaster in Australia, with the very sad loss of human life, destruction of 15 million acres of land, and the death of thousands of animals. The beginning of an impeachment trial of a US President, the ongoing saga in the Royal Family and more.

Is there anything good happening in the world? Perhaps we just have to look a little deeper to see it, as the media takes great pleasure in focusing on the negative.

I do have to make my opinion known on at least one point regarding the royal situation. If this couple have supposedly a net worth of 33 million between them, why does the British tax paper still have to pick up the tab for their security and protection? And I have just watched the documentary on the Thomas Markle story, who clearly once had a wonderful relationship with his daughter. What happened?

Ok one thing which comes to mind, is Harry’s openness to discuss his own mental health issues.

As we focus on the year ahead and align our thoughts with children, I want to emphasise how important I believe the creative industries are, especially Performing Arts.

Music and drama have the ability to convey messages, educate and inspire. But we also know that music and the arts are therapeutic, no less than a medium to release stress, trauma depression, grief, toxic energy and more. Sadly, with the huge decrease of the arts in our schools this last few years, I pose the question; is this a major contributory factor to mental health issues in young people today?

I would say, absolutely yes!

We know that physical exercise has multiple benefits, including its purpose to assist the body in the elimination of toxins and stress hormones, whilst releasing healthy endorphins, triggering a positive feeling of well-being. Wow!

Music and dance have huge benefits and as happy hormones – as I call them – are released into the body it begins to relax, whilst acting as an emotional outlet. Neuroscience is now proving how the pattern of the brain changes, prolonging life and wellness, when we indulge our creative minds.

Yes, singing can boost your immune system. Whilst music generally improves memory, motivation and reduces pain. Ever heard of music therapy? Of course, you have!

As society is facing mental health challenges far greater than any other health issue today, the arts have a massive role to play.

Creativity of all manner needs to play a greater part in our education system, and we need to escape from this commitment and huge pressure put on our children to academically achieve, achieve, achieve and get back to ‘just being.’

Thankfully, educators are beginning to realise the error of their ways in reducing creative arts in schools. Let’s get back to where we used to be, and as we encourage the arts we will undoubtedly see better academic achievements, happier children and less mental health issues.