The group known as The Choir of Hard Knocks, which was set up to help the disadvantaged is branching out.

It is now launching a School of Hard Knocks to teach more than just singing.

Laura Dixon reports.


Eight years ago, Doctor Jonathon Welch founded The Hard Knocks choir for homeless and disadvantaged people.

Since then it has grown into a support network for people with a range of mental health issues.

Now, Dr Welch has expanded the choir concept into the School of Hard Knocks.

He says the school still involves lots of music and other creative activities.

Dr. Jonathon Welch: “There’s an enormous amount of research that’s been done that shows how it engages different parts of our mind that perhaps people who’ve been dealing with mental health issues have been struggling with.”

So far, 50 people have signed up.

Karen Bourke, School of Hard Knocks Participant: “Physically I have asthma so it’ll help me with my breathing, socially it’ll give me the opportunity to meet tones of really interesting, like minded people. It gives me the opportunity to sing which is always healing.”

With one in five Australian experiencing mental health problems each year, mental health week aims to de-stigmatise the issue and encourages help seeking.

Mental health week was wrapped up today with the Mental Health Achievement Awards, the awards are aimed at improving the understanding and awareness of mental health in the Queensland community.

Laura Dixon, QUT News.