In the last Artist’s Eye post, I discussed Dan Lambton’s experience with mental illness, how it has affected touring with his band, Real Friends, and his social media presence in regards to his mental health. This week I’d like to discuss a band called Neck Deep, who have tied themselves closely to mental health awareness. Not only has the band been open about their own experiences with mental health issues, they are also Partners in Prevention with a chicago mental health nonprofit called Hope For The Day.

Hope For The Day is an organization that focuses on proactive suicide prevention through outreach and mental health education. I had the chance to intern with HFTD over the summer of 2016 and my experience there was incredibly rewarding. I remember specifically researching the nonprofit before applying for an internship and seeing their work with Neck Deep for Mental Health Awareness Month.  Since then, they have worked together on a variety of opportunities, from shirts to videos to shows.

If you have to a Neck Deep concert in the past couple years, there’s a good chance that you have either heard Ben Barlow or Jonny Boucher, HFTD’s Founder/CEO, speak about HFTD and mental health during their set. Specifically during Warped Tour, Boucher has spoken before Neck Deep’s set about having honest conversations, seeking help, and being there for one another. This partnership has continued into their most recent fall tour in Europe/UK where Boucher toured along with the band to speak to their fan base across the ocean about mental health awareness and education. You can follow the recap of this tour on HFTD’s blog here.

The band members have also been open with discussing their personal experiences and have consistently encouraged people to speak up if they are struggling. In their 2017 interview with NYLON, Barlow states, “You cannot make any progress with silence.” Two years ago was particularly difficult for Neck Deep when both Barlow and Fil Thrope-Evans lost their fathers. Their experiences handling these losses had a great influence on Neck Deep’s most recent album, The Peace and The Panic. Barlow said, “Once you accept the bad and kind of accept some of the more negative things—the unavoidable things in life—that’s when you realize life’s a funny game. You can’t just have it all and expect none of the negative sh*t in return. That’s what I realized. You can’t have the peace without the panic, and vice versa.” They have always used their platform to have these open and honest discussions in hopes of helping others going through similar struggles. Through speaking up and partnering with Hope For The Day, they are able to provide education and resources to an immense amount of people.

If you would like to found out more about Neck Deep, you can visit their site here.

If you would like to learn more about Hope For The Day, visit their site here.


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