. Mental Health - New Orleans Musicians' Clinic

Mental Health

The NOMC is here to ensure your physical and mental well being.


If you broke an arm or leg you would seek treatment. It is same with mental health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, performance anxiety). It is a treatable, medical issue so don’t suffer in silence and pain, let us help you.

The good news is that 60-80% of people with depression can be treated with psychotherapy and medication. Others may need longer treatment. Help is available through the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.


If you are feeling hopeless or experiencing symptoms of mental illness, please reach out.

For immediate assistance contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273- TALK (8255), 911 or the Metropolitan Crisis Response Team (MCRT) at 504-826-2675.



Make an appointment to come to the NOMC and talk about it with us.

Contact NOMC social worker, Megan McStravick, 504-452-5870 or 504-412-1366


At every visit, NOMC patients are given a mental health assessment. From there, our case manager and medical team work to ensure each patient is safe and cared for. We offer a full range of mental health services including counseling, psychiatric support and treatment, addiction treatment and recovery assistance, community education and more.




Recommended Links 

ADA’s Mental Health Apps (From the Anxiety and Depression Association of America- Mental health apps can be effective tools that make therapy more accessible, efficient, and portable for those with anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, PTSD, and other related disorders)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC website provides basic public health information on mental health)

Grief Counseling and Support Groups (Visit our Grief Support web page for more information on local support groups and community resources)

National Institute of Mental Health (The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. More information about mental health and research around mental health can be found on their webpage)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI New Orleans offers treatment and support to those with mental illness)



Suicide Prevention

If you or someone you know is in crisis and/or suicidal (in Orleans Parish)

    • Call the Metropolitan Crisis Response Team at 504-826-2675 which provides 24/7 urgent access to clinical services
    • Go to the nearest hospital
    • If all else fails, call 911 and ask for Unit 6512 which is the NOPD Crisis Transportation Unit
    • If you are not in Orleans Parish, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline



Facts about the prevalence and impact of mental illness 




Good Mental Health

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation for individual well-being and the effective functioning of a community. Mental health is also strongly tied to physical health and well being. Taking care of your body and mind ensures good mental health.



Poor Mental Health

Poor mental health is associated with many things, including rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill-health, risks of violence and human rights violations. Musicians’ lifestyles are often high stress. Late nights, smoky bars, alcohol, and late night fast food eating, etc. all promote an unhealthy lifestyle. We read and see the risks and effects of violence too often in our city. New Orleans has also faced natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill that drastically affects a rapid social change.  Despite the effects of lifestyle or society, we can work to overcome poor mental health.







Better Coping Skills


drumming, acupuncture, and yoga

Developing coping skills will help you better manage mental illness.

Join a drumming circle, participate in a yoga class or get acupuncture treatments!

Improve your outlook by participating in talking therapy or art therapy, or teach yourself a new skill or activity.  One way is to exercise which can be as simple as taking a short walk. Depression can make it hard to move but vigorous activity releases endorphins that make you feel better. Sometimes it is forcing yourself to put one foot in front of the other and then doing it again. It may seem hard at first, but worth it in the end.

Explore different physical activities or art therapies (Music Therapy for example).


Music Therapy and Mental Health

Music Therapy is an established health profession in which music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. After assessing the strengths and needs of each client, the qualified music therapist provides the indicated treatment including creating, singing, moving to, and/or listening to music.

People of all ages and diagnoses can benefit from music therapy, but it can be particularly effective for helping individuals suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

The directed use of music and music therapy is highly effective in developing coping strategies in response to these symptoms, including understanding and expressing feelings of anxiety and helplessness, supporting feelings of self- confidence and security, and providing a safe or neutral environment for relaxation.


When the Blues Keeps You Down

The song is right, when you have the blues it does seem to be raining all the time. The symptoms of depression are extensive and can include physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects.

We mostly think of stomach upsets and headaches from depression and tension, but other symptoms can be achy jaw or shoulders, racing heart or skipped beats, or even prickling sensation in the arms or legs like something is crawling or biting underneath the skin.

Mentally, the symptoms can range from sluggish thinking to racing thoughts that include fearful thoughts. Emotionally anger to lash out at people and drive them away, loss of interest in life, panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. Spiritually there can be anger towards God or even Satan, guilt and feelings of abandonment. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please reach out at 504-412-1366 to schedule an appointment.

Prevalence of Mood Disorders in Creative People

Is there a link between creativity and depression? This question haunted Arnold M. Ludwig, a researcher at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He embarked on a 10-year study of 1,004 men and women who were prominent in a variety of professions, including art, music, science, politics, business and sports. Ludwig found that between 59 and 77 percent of the artists, writers, and musicians suffered mental illness (particularly mood disorders) compared to just 18 to 29 percent in the less artistic professionals. He concluded that “members of the artistic professions or creative arts as a whole suffer from more types of mental difficulties and do so over longer periods of their lives than members of the other professions.”

Most studies on this subject have consistently shown higher rates of mood disorders in creative people, differing only in the magnitude of the results. Are creative people destined to experience depression or bipolar disorder? Or does having a mental illness make people more creative?

While depression causes feelings of being alone, please know that you are not alone.

1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression with Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama in the top 7 states for depression. With our higher rate of depression we also have higher rates of obesity, heart disease, stroke and sleep disorders. Those 45-64 years of age, women, blacks, Hispanics, and those with less than a high school education, previously married, unemployed, and those without health insurance have more chances of being depressed.



Ludwig, Arnold M. The Price of Greatness: Resolving the Creativity and Madness Controversy. New York: Guilford, 1995.

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