Tonic Music for Mental Health is a not-for-profit organisation (Company No: 08093898) based in Southsea, established in 2012. We are honoured to have both Terry Hall (The Specials) and Kevin Cummins (Music Photographer) as our patrons.

Tonic hosts gigs and events in London, Portsmouth and Southampton with line-ups including Terry Hall, Dub Pistols, Norman Jay MBE, Kevin Rowland, Vinny Peculiar, Corduroy and Eddie Piller. We regularly have information stalls at gigs and tours with bands such as The Specials and festivals such as the Isle of Wight Festival and Victorious Festival.

Tonic has been entirely self-funded since it’s creation. In December 2017, we opened our first shop and studio in Southsea, Portsmouth, an inclusive space for people to come to create, learn, inspire, socialise and get informal support. Everything we provide is free to access for all. We support people with mental health problems and the wider community to access music and art by: providing free gig, event and festival tickets locally and nationally; provide free weekly guitar and bass groups at our Tonic studio (*due to start beginning of March 2018); facilitate full music workshops and music courses with renowned musicians with opportunities for participants to perform at gigs in iconic venues including the 100 Club, Wedgewood Rooms and The Joiners; support musicians to access recording sessions and pay for them to produce EPs and LPs; donate instruments to individuals and organisations; provide volunteering opportunities within our shop and studio to co-facilitate / lead workshops and all aspects of running Tonic; provide volunteering opportunities at various venues with all aspects of gig and event production and marketing for Tonic gigs and events; provide discussion groups with guest speakers on topics such as subcultures, classic albums and all things music related; provide informal drop-in support within our shop – listen to vinyl, have a coffee and chat; host music masterclasses and Q&As with renowned musicians and artists; support people to find their strengths and encourage and nurture opportunities to develop and grow; provide creative workshops such as art (Free Art Fridays group facilitated by Highbury College), Photography and Upcyclying; provide songwriting classes and workshops; provide therapeutic and creative support groups; facilitate mental health awareness and other training sessions; respond to community need and gaps in provision to work with the community to provide groups that are needed.

The creative music and art based interventions Tonic provides are recognised as having a positive impact on mental health and emotional wellbeing, and can play an important role in people’s recovery. Our creative groups provide participants with an opportunity to interact and develop social skills, to share experiences, to develop and utilise creative skills, to improve confidence and to provide peer support. Our groups can also provide a forum to explore and express feelings that may be too difficult or frightening to communicate in other ways within a safe space. Individuals can develop relationships that may continue beyond their engagement with the group. Building positive relationships and feeling connected within local communities helps to combat loneliness and isolation, and plays a significant role in maintaining good mental health, recovering from mental illness and reducing suicide risk.

Your donation will help us pay for our basic operational costs, continue to provide our exisiting support and build on this by providing weekly groups, support and opportunities.

We welcome you to visit our shop and studio at 119 Highland Rd, Southsea to see what we do.

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