The arts for mental health – peer support delivered creatively
Sound Minds is a mental health charity transforming lives through music, film and art. We are a thriving community bound together by creativity and a shared belief in mutual learning and peer support.
Sound Minds works with people with lived experience of mental health problems and is a safe space for our members, volunteers and staff.
Each month we deliver over 100 creative sessions for our members covering jam sessions, band rehearsals, visual art, music tuition, music production, a community choir, drama and more….
In our latest members’ survey 32% had recent experience of being an inpatient in hospital. 100% reported their overall experience of Sound Minds as excellent or good.
Every year our Canerows Ward Visitors have around 1,000 conversations with current inpatients.
89% of questionnaire respondents rated the Canerows ward visiting service as excellent or good.
Staff and trustees
Our staff team is skilled and experienced in mental health, music and the arts.
Paul Brewer is a founder member of Sound Minds and was until recently the CEO, he is now a volunteer. Paul began as a guitar player for afro pop band ‘Chisza!’ before working for the NHS as an occupational therapy professional manager and group analyst and managed a Community Mental Health Team. Paul plays guitar and bass, makes films and is a qualified teacher. He has written widely on group dynamics, the arts and mental health and peer support.
Lindsey started in the role of Administration Coordinator in 2023. Lindsey’s background is in theatre and most recently worked at the Prince Edward Theatre. She also co-founded Turn Point Theatre in 2019 and she is already using this experience in Sound Minds.
Chas De Swiet
Chas joined the organisation as CEO in 2022. Chas is well known in the user/survivor movement both as an advocate around mental health issues and an arts professional. His previous roles include Disability Development Officer for the Arts Council (South East) and Head of Operations at Mental Health Media. He has also worked in arts and mental health roles for Core Arts and Creative Routes. Most recently he has been Executive Director of Filmpro and Chair of Drake Music. Chas has a parallel path as an artist mainly working with sound and music. His musical progression has been from a classical violinist through to a world music and ambient DJ and then on to playing in bands and producing music for film, dance, theatre and events.
Jack is our new Creative Development Worker. Jack is a musician and producer, has a degree in Music Performance and experience as a performing artist, session player and live sound engineer. Jack played a key role in the setting up of a local venue and club dedicated to blues music.
Sheba has been chair of the Trustees for several years. Sheba is a musician, singer and mother.
Devon Marston is a founder member of Sound Minds, Canerows and a former Chair of Sound Minds trustees. Devon assists with music sessions and the drama project. Devon started off as a musician (with 70’s lovers rock band the Investigators) and is also an actor, having performed in the West End show ‘Black Heroes in the Hall of Fame’. Devon is a regular public speaker. His TV appearances include, BBC 2’s ‘Newsnight’, Channel 4 News, BBC SIx O Clock News and Shifts films for Red Nose Night.
Mia Morris O.B.E.
Mia heads up the Canerows peer support project. Mia was awarded an OBE in 2015 for her services establishing black history month in the UK. Mia is a qualified teacher.
Searahlaine St James
Searahlaine has a degree in music and a teaching qualification. She also fronts her own band, writes songs and has an amazing voice!