The gap between those who understand the severity of mental illness and those who don’t grasp mental health conditions in slowly narrowing, largely because of educational campaigns by groups and organizations that aspire to provide information about mental illness and encourage people to seek help for their conditions.
The You Rock Foundation
One of the organizations leading the charge in educating people about the dangers of mental health conditions is The You Rock Foundation, an organization dedicated to spreading awareness about mental health and helping people with depression and other mental health conditions by using music.
The You Rock Foundation partners with musicians in the rock and heavy metal music genres to shed light on the battles that musicians face with their own mental health conditions. The organization produces videos with rock and metal stars to tell true stories about depression.
These videos feature prominent rockstars like Corey Taylor of Stone Sour and Slipknot, Jim Root of Slipknot, Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Johnny Hawkins of Nothing More and many more artists. The videos allow fans who may be struggling with mental illness themselves to learn that they are not alone, and that many of their favorites artists and role models have gone through similar struggles.
The work is especially important in such masculine environments as the rock and metal communities, as men and boys are often encouraged to “toughen up” and “man up” when suffering from mental health conditions and mood disorders. Having prominent figures in these communities share their own stories of weakness and struggle helps to open the dialogue surrounding mental health and encourage people with mental health conditions to seek help.
The Importance Of Educating
After the death of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, the founder of The You Rock Foundation, Joseph Penola, talked about the importance of changing mindsets about suicide and mental illness, which is a cornerstone of the foundation’s work.
“It was important to me that The You Rock Foundation find a way to counteract the shameful accusations of it being cowardly act and how it may inspire copycat suicides.” Penola told The Mighty. “The best way to do that was to invite everyone on social media to remind the world that Chester probably saved more lives than anyone will ever know. The deep, dark, personal lyrics… gave countless music lovers access to their emotions and a way to express them.”
Ultimately, the foundation hopes to empower individuals in their battles with depression and help them thrive in an environment that is more accepting of people battling mental illnesses.
“Using music as a backdrop, You Rock seeks to pull those suffering out of the dark and show them the possibilities of moving forward with life,” the organization says.