We are proud to support Sound Mind, an organisation working to build a community and culture that breaks the stigma surrounding mental health by reaching younger generations through music. Here Sound Mind tell us a little more about the work they do and their 2022 Music Festival for Mental Health.
Tell us about Sound Mind Live and what you do
Sound Mind Live’s mission is to build community and open dialogue around mental health through the power of music. We work in partnership with a coalition of music artists and mental health organisations to foster dialogue around mental health through storytelling and personal journey sharing. We leverage the power of music to connect to the hearts of others and elevate mental health resources to a wide community of audiences and music fans who might not otherwise receive these messages. Through music we catalyse action and empathy, as well as earlier intervention on mental health issues. We do this through live concert event programming, digital programming such as videos and podcasts where we interview artists about their lived mental health experiences, and partnerships with music artists on tour to provide on-site mental health resources to fans.
Why do you think music is so important at bringing people together to address mental health stigma?
Music is a universal language that allows us to connect with each other beyond words. Many times with mental health issues it is difficult to translate our emotions and experiences from our minds into external reality. Music brings people together through community events and a shared deeper sense of our human nature to reconnect with our shared humanity in a way that creates a safe environment to do this. These unique facets of music, alongside the wide audiences of many of the musicians that we work with, enable music to “break through walls of stigma” such that people who may feel discomfort can reconnect via music to our shared humanity and the need to rely on one another for support.
You recently held the 2022 Sound Mind Music Festival for Mental Health, what were your highlights?
It is always inspiring to see communities of support being built both on and off stage. Backstage we saw artists across genres who care deeply about mental health embrace with warm hugs as they came together to create social change. In the audience we saw an active cheering, embracing, tears of happiness, and working together toward building the communities of support we want to see in the world. We had over 200 petition sign-ups on-site to improve mental health crisis infrastructure in the U.S. Our team also witnessed individuals living with conditions like bipolar disorder find out about new pathways to support, and get linked in with services like peer support programmes of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. As much as I love watching the music and words from stage, it’s these stories of increasing pathways to long-term support that really demonstrate we’re making a difference and warm my heart.
How can companies and individuals get involved in the work you do?
We are always looking for strategic partners who want to help us either build increased pathways to support, or help us in elevating our mission to a broader community. We welcome prospective partners and volunteers to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us a little about themselves and their vision for how we can work together toward a better future for mental health through the power of music.
What’s next for Sound Mind Live?
In a live format, Sound Mind is in the early stages of expanding partnerships with venues and music festivals around the country to provide more access to mental health resources and engagement on-site at music events. Additionally, we are working with an incredible film production team to develop a docuseries with music artists on mental health that we aim to have premiered on major streaming services in the near future. Leveraging the reach of streaming services and focusing on longer-form content with our music artist community will help to open up deeper and more nuanced conversations around mental health so people can feel seen and better identify what pathways of support are right for them.