FLEMINGTON, NJ - How can we improve the mental health of our community members through an event that will reach all age groups and improve their wellbeing that day while giving them the tools to carry on into their lives? 

This is the question the Partnership for Health (PFH) Mental Health Action Team had, and Healthy Harmony is their answer.  We all know different kinds of music can influence our mood and how we feel, and recent research is looking at how music can positively affect our mental health.  With this is mind, Healthy Harmony is a free event taking place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 7 at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. 

The event will feature a small stage venue for performances, an open area for interactive musical experiences and an emotional wellness fair.

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Mental health was one of five needs area identified by the June 2019 Hunterdon Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Because mental health issues affect people from all ages of the community, we wanted to stage an event that would appeal to everyone. Our community has had many health and wellness fairs, but we wanted to plan something a little different. It was important that the event was interactive and would help people engage in both relaxation, but also stress-relieving exercise. To combat the isolation that contributes to depression and other mental illness, we wanted to highlight a sense of community and communal sharing of experience. Music was the key that would tie the event together.

Music genres will range from classical choral music to folk to rock to barbershop.  Performers include student groups as well as seniors and everyone in between.   Attendees can participate in guided meditation or chair yoga with the hope they can be inspired to pursue these practices on their own.  A highlight of the event is “Music Rocks our World”- a show from the Hunterdon Preparatory School where students will demonstrate how music can be a tool for self-expression, positive coping skills and sustaining connection to others.  Our hope is that attendees from the community will leave Healthy Harmony relaxed and invigorated and ready to include more music into their lives in ways that will promote their best emotional wellness.

To register for the event please visit, http://bit.ly/healthyharmony2020. Organizations who provide science-based emotional wellness services and are interested in participating in the wellness fair can contact Catie Fenton at cfenton@hhsnj.org.

Support for this program was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives program.