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Belong to Song

Updated: Apr 12, 2023

Changing lives through the power of music




Belong to Song is a weekly music session for those with lived experience of mental illness. Each session is attended by participants in various stages of recovery and with a wide range of musical abilities. Supported by a peer facilitator and professional musician working together to engage participants in music making. All musical genres are welcome and appreciated.

  • Many participants share original songs, improvise with the band, or bring lyrics or melodies that facilitators help complete.

  • Everyone who wants to perform has an opportunity. Some participants come to play an instrument or sing, others just to listen.

Belong to Song participants come from CMHA Middlesex, My Sisters' Place, the Prevention & Early Intervention for Psychoses Program (PEPP), Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams, Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care, and other mental health agencies in the London region.


ATTEND A SESSION The program reduces stigma about mental illness, improves participants' self-esteem, and builds community through group music-making. Participants have opportunities to perform in the community several times a year, and many regularly socialize outside of the program.


SUPPORT THE PROGRAM Originally founded and supported by London’s Mental Health Promotions Committee, Belong to Song is now a collaboration between the London Arts Council (providing program coordination, administration, and facilitation) and the Canadian Mental Health Association Middlesex (providing staff support as needed, program space, and client referrals). Friends of Belong to Song

• Sue Brown •

• Frederic Laloux • • The Rotary Club of London-Lambeth •



When funding is available, Belong to Song participants receive mentoring from professional artists and financial assistance to attend regular musical and vocal master classes, to record demos of their favourite songs, and to write and record their own original songs.


These twelve original songs are the result of several months of master classes in vocal performance, song-writing, and demo-recording for Belong to Song participants.

“Mr. Stranger” | Za Za

“Mind’s Lament” | Jaimelyn Thibeault

“Precious Gift of Recovery” | Louise Blakey

“Walking on Eggshells” | Beth Reimer

“Can I Hold Your Hand Tonight?” | Desiree Terrebonne

“Freaks in the Park” | Tim Clark

“Ms. Pandora’s Box” | Nina Jogia

“I Saw a Star” | John Mackey

“A Mother’s Love” | Gloria Ellis

“Hall of Fame” | Christine Bolton

“Drive” | Kim Redlin

“Stronger Than Before” | Kathy Bulmer

Stronger Than Before (2018) was produced by Catherine McInnes, Jake Levesque, & Simon Larochette and recorded at The Sugar Shack Recording Studio with funding from the Ontario Arts Council, the Westminster College Foundation, and the Rotary Club of London-Lambeth.

GOOD COMPANY Good Company (2017) is a true labour of love—with eleven original songs written and performed by Belong to Song community musicians, all of whom have lived experience of mental illness.

"Bravado" | Gloria Ellis

"Smother Me" | Sharon Mullen

"Catastrophe" | Christine Bolton

"Mixolydia" | Tim Clark

"Steady Onward" | Kim Redlin

"Another" | Kevin Gustaevel

"On the Welfare Line" | Jaimelyn Thibeault

"My Sistah, My Guide & My Friend" | Louise Blakey

"Bad Boots" | Desiree Terrebonne

"What's That Sport" | Rob Whiteman

"Good Company" | Larry Lund

Purchase a copy of the CD by contacting London Arts Council at or 519 439 0013.


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