Country music veteran, Mark Collie to serve as music therapy ambassador

Corizon Health CEO Karey Witty today announced an innovative partnership with critically acclaimed country singer-songwriter Mark Collie to incorporate music into the correctional healthcare company’s behavioral health program.

Collie will serve as Corizon’s Music Therapy Ambassador and will be working with Corizon’s behavioral health team to develop evidence-based best practices for integrating music into group counseling sessions. A pilot program focused on inmates diagnosed with a variety of mental illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, and Substance Abuse Disorder has launched at two Tennessee correctional facilities.

Mark Collie
Mark Collie (Photo courtesy Sundari PR)

The initiative will involve groups receiving a trauma-focused curriculum with music activities to highlight teaching points from the program. During weekly sessions, Collie will lead music expression through a variety of techniques including songwriting, singing and playing musical instruments.

“In my opinion, music is one of the strongest and most effective medicines we can prescribe toward mental health and behavioral treatment,” shares Collie. “I’ve witnessed first hand the amazing results of music helping to restore and repair broken lives. The inspirational words and melody of a song can encourage and rekindle our faith, unlocking the doors of trust that can lead us onto a path of greater understanding and healing.

“ A guitar and a song saved my life and helped to heal me, and I believe it will do the same to many of those we are called to help inside and outside of prison walls,” he continued. “I am humbled and thankful for the opportunity to work with Corizon Health on this very important and promising endeavor.”

The approach was inspired in part by Collie’s recently released documentary “The Mountain”, which premiered on the Blaze and DISH network last year in conjunction with the re-release of his critically acclaimed live album recording Mark Collie & His Reckless Companions: Alive At Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary (Eagle Rock Entertainment). The album was originally recorded in 2001 live for the inmates at Brushy Mountain, carrying on the legacy of Collie’s friend and inspiration Johnny Cash.

“As a company we are constantly looking for innovative approaches to improve the health of our patients and help ensure their successful re-entry into society,” Corizon CEO Witty said. “Mark’s prior work clearly had a profound impact on those individuals with whom he engaged and we are excited to collaborate with him on a national scale.”

Mark Collie has been entertaining country music fans since he burst onto the scene in the 90s with his honky-tonk-meets-rockabilly style. With seven major label albums and 16 songs on the “Hot Country Songs” chart to his name, Collie also has penned songs for Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Aaron Tippin, George Jones, and Alabama to name a few, and starred as Frankie Gray on the hit TV series Nashville.

Corizon Health provides quality healthcare services to states and municipalities across the country offering a comprehensive solution for physical care, behavioral care and pharmaceutical services. With its corporate headquarters in Brentwood, Tenn., Corizon Health is the leading provider of correctional healthcare services in the United States.

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