Music is one of our most powerful art forms. It has the power to both amplify and ignite cultural shifts. Today, a consortium of interests, from universities, to non-profits, to artists have taken their own actions to reduce the stigma around mental health issues. In this shifting landscape, a few musicians stand out as trailblazers in both sharing their own struggles with mental health issues and helping to comfort others who may be dealing with their own. One such musician is Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit. He's been incredibly honest about managing bipolar disorder with the help of a supportive band, manager and wife, helping him go from suicide watch to headlining Madison Square Garden in the matter of a year. He was a 2013 Didi Hirsch honoree, along with Quincy Jones and Jeff Greenberg, for helping to erase the stigma of mental illness.
Other musicians have also been exemplary in sharing their mental health issues and encouraging others to do the same. Mary Lambert released songs like “Secrets” and “Body Love,” while Demi Lovato released a documentary including details about her experiences living with and managing bipolar disorder and bulimia and launched a “Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour” that allowed young adults to speak openly about their mental health struggles. Kid Cudi has been transparent about his struggles with depression and urging the hip-hop community to be just as transparent about their own mental health struggles. (Read more here.)
Musicians have already made huge differences in ending the mental health stigma, and we look forward to growing numbers of musicians continuing to collaborate on and around bringing the conversation to light.