Hip-hop ‘can help people with mental health issues’

Two scientists in the UK are using rap and hip-hop to treat mental health diagnoses such as depression, addiction and bi-polar disorder.

Neuroscientist Dr Becky Inkster from Cambridge University told BBC Newsbeat “Hip Hop Psych is opening up a new culture which branches across medicine and hip-hop with amazing responses.”

Alongside consultant psychiatrist Dr Akeem Sule, Dr Inkster reference Professor Green at their Hip Hop Psych events.

Professor Green fronted Radio 1’s documentary Suicide Survivors and opened up about his own experience of his father taking his own life when the rapper was 24.

“Writing lyrics helps me get issues out of my head, where they get mumbled and jumbled,” said Professor Green.

“When you put your thoughts on paper, it helps you get them out, so you have something to look at, and analyse.”

Just like the professionals, many young patients find it hard to explain what’s going on with them.

And 26-year-old Stickz told Newsbeat that four years ago he had a breakdown and ended up in hospital.

He was diagnosed as bi-polar and says rapping has definitely helped him find his confidence and find his personality again.

“Instead of speaking about things that I’ve gone through or having to explain, I rap about it,” Stickz says.

Stickz is part of Key Changes, a charity which uses hip-hop and other urban music styles to help young people in hospital and the community to express their thoughts and feelings through lyrics and music.

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