EMTC Contributes to European Commission Online Event

On 21 April, the European Commission organised an online event entitled “A Comprehensive Approach to Mental Health” to gather concrete ideas for action on mental health from stakeholders to support the Commission’s work. 22 posters were presented, describing proposed actions to promote good mental health, prevent and detect early mental health problems, tackle psychosocial risks at work, improve access to treatment and care of mental health problems and/or improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

The EMTC Core Board – Elide Scarlata (President), Rita Maia (Vice-President) and Nele Fiers (Vice-President) created a poster to present at this event. This post shares the content of the poster in an easy-to-read on-screen format, plus a PDF download of the poster itself.


Music therapy is the professional use of music and its elements as an intervention in medical, educational, and everyday environments with individuals, groups, familles, or communities who seek to optimize their quality of life and improve their physical, social, communicative, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual health and wellbeing. Research, practice, education, and clinical training in music therapy are based on professional standards according to cultural social, and political contexts. (WFMT, 2011)

According to D. Aldridge (1996) creative arts activities (hence, music therapy) offer a unique opportunity: “To be remade anew in the moment, to assert identity which is aesthetic in the context of another person, (…) is an activity invested with that vital quality of hope”.

The experience of music therapy activates communication without words. The emotions flow powerfully and conduct on the dimension of harmony and balance, as pieces of broken-up puzzles, disharmony, expressions of conflict and pain, recompose a forgotten design, which reacquires meaning and returns an image of self recomposed and enriched.


EMTC will take a leading role, along with national associations, to:

  • raise awareness of signals of mental health problems;
  • offer support to integration of qualified music therapy in mental health institutions;
  • promote training and research in the field.


  • Music therapy has been shown to be effective in improving symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trauma.
  • Music therapy can help individuals develop social and emotional skills, such as communication, self-expression, and emotional regulation.
  • Music therapy can be a cost-effective intervention for mental health care. as it can reduce the need for medication and hospitalisation.
  • The more EU citizens are informed about music therapy as possible treatment, the better they can find adapted therapy.


  • Finding a way to provide easily accessible, clear and unambiguous information.
  • Lack of awareness and support in classical mental health care. Therefore, more research
    outcomes are important.
  • Reaching EU citizens who are isolated and/or don’t have access to internet and information.
  • There is not yet EU recognition and regulation, but EMTC does safeguard quality in music therapy.


  • The annual European Music Therapy Day will focus on the mental health effects of music therapy.
  • Research projects with mental health scope will be disseminated by the EMTC website and scientific publications.
  • A hybrid symposium focused on the application of music therapy in mental health could be organized by EMTC member associations in several EU and surrounding countries at the same time.
  • EMTC member associations will promote the EU mental health strategy at several levels in their own country: political, health, community, education.

Research by the WHO Regional Office for Europe has shown that the use of artistic media in health care and in communities can have a variety of benefits for health outcomes. They can be used to communicate valuable messages across cultures and political divides, help affected communities understand the risks of certain diseases or behaviours and provide ways for affected populations to process and earn from their individual and collective experience to improve their wellbeing among other benefits (WHO, 2019).

Full report: apps.who.int

Download PDF of the poster: