Chris Cornell's Legacy Lives On In A New Music Therapy Program For Children Affected By Trauma

"Chris and I always shared a strong belief in the healing and inspiring power of music..."

Chris Cornell, the late singer and guitarist for Soundgarden and Temple of the Dog, died after apparently committing suicide on May 17, 2017, leaving behind a beloved legacy in music. Now, his memory lives on through another legacy in music therapy. 

On July 20, Childhaven, a nonprofit in Seattle, announced its new music therapy program for children in the musician's name. The Chris & Vicky Cornell Foundation donated $100,000 to jumpstart the program, which will serve trauma-affected children up to age 5 through a therapeutic, early learning model pioneered by Childhaven. 

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Childhaven developed its "trailblazing" program based on research showing the negative effects of chronic abuse and neglect, specifically triggering "toxic stress" in young children's brains. According to Childhaven, "an abused or neglected child's brain can be in that chaotic 'fight or flight'  state all the time." To counteract this toxic stress, its individually focused treatment provides "consistency, structured routine, attentive listening, the opportunity to make their own choices, and clear limits and boundaries" to the children. This technique not only works to calm and heal the children but also helps them foster trusting relationships with adults.

"The Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation is excited to join Childhaven to support its extraordinary work impacting the lives of those in need," Vicky Cornell said in a statement. "Chris and I always shared a strong belief in the healing and inspiring power of music, and through Childhaven's establishment of this program, we are able to keep the promise for Chris by continuing to protect the world's most vulnerable children." 

Previously, Cornell has helped children in need through his music, most recently through a song and lyric video for "The Promise," written for Christian Bale's film of the same name. Written with the struggle of child refugees during the Armenian genocide (the film's subject matter) in mind, the song and video were released by the foundation in June, with all proceeds benefitting International Rescue Committee.

(H/T: The Stranger

If you or a loved one are in a crisis, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with a skilled, trained counselor who is ready to listen to you.

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