An Ode to Healing Harmonies

When music and psychiatry collide...

COMMENTARY

One of my proudest accomplishments was creating the Healing Harmonies program while serving on the board of directors for the South Carolina Philharmonic during my psychiatry residency.

The genesis for this creation started over breakfast with one of my friends, Sam Tenebaum, the former President of the Prisma Health-Midlands Foundation. Sam and I are both passionate about music and the cathartic impact it can have on individuals who are experiencing a decline in their health. I saw the opportunity for the music and health communities to coalesce and, with his philanthropy acumen along with the collaborative efforts of the South Carolina Philharmonic think tank, the Healing Harmonies program came to fruition.

The Healing Harmonies program brings classical music to hospitals, mental health centers, and eldercare facilities, such as Palmetto Health's Children's Hospital and Cancer Center, Dorn VA Medical Center, and Midlands mental health facilities. Its sustainability over the past 8 years is a testament to the power of music to transform the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve.

To help celebrate the eighth year of Healing Harmonies, the South Carolina Philharmonic’s Board of Directors created a $4000 challenge match to encourage others to support the program. With the funds, the program will be brought to facilities like DJJ, the Babcock Center, and Prisma Health locations.

As Debasish Mridha, MD, physician, poet, and philosopher has said, “Music can heal the wounds which medicine cannot touch.”

Dr Clark is an outpatient psychiatrist at Prisma Health-Upstate and clinical associate professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He served on the American Psychiatric Association’s Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry, and he currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion section editor and advisory board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.