I’m sure that this statement isn’t true for most of the world; however, Thursdays are when I have my bi-monthly therapy appointments to reflect on my mental health. Because of this, its seems fitting that I should take this day to discuss topics that relate to mental health treatment (therapy, coping mechanisms, etc.) and how these may look in an artist’s life while on tour.
Side note: I discussed this idea with my therapist this morning and she was thrilled with the connection that I had made between my own mental health journey and this project.
There is an enormous amount of knowledge and tools that can be learned from understanding mental health and mental health treatments, but our society lacks basic education about mental health, to the extent that most turn their ignorance into a fear of the unknown. However, when we speak up about mental health, our own personal struggles, and the steps we took to overcome them, we educate the public and begin the steps towards creating safer environments for mental health discussions.
Those with a platform, from artists to actors to social media influencers, have the opportunity to bring education to their audience by speaking up about mental health topics. A fantastic example of this is Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, who uses his platform as a musician to discuss his journey with mental health and treatments that he has used to help him manage mental illness. Taking it a step further, in April of 2017, he held a livestream on facebook while receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is used in the US to treat depression, and discussion his experience with bipolar disorder and how the treatment helped him manage his illness.
Education is one of the most powerful tools we have to break down stigmas around mental health and I hope to use these Thursday discussions to provide information and experience about mental health and mental health treatments to bring a better understanding about these topics, specifically to those in the music industry. And, hopefully by showing how these can be tied into an artist’s life on the road, we can further discussions about how to create safer environments for our touring artists.