3 mental health resources for musicians
What I remember most about the severe depression I went through in my early 20s was lying on my bed and watching the second hand work its way around the clock face: click...click...click...Had it not been for the intercession of a good therapist, I don't know where I would have ended up. Of course, the stigma that existed around mental health issues at that time meant that other than referencing it in my novel, The Waco Variations, it was something I simply didn't discuss with people.
Thankfully, people who choose to share their experiences with mental health problems face much less judgment today. And, thankfully, therapy is easier to access. This help has never been needed more: the pandemic that has taken so many lives and wrecked tens of thousands of jobs has also exacted a toll on our mental health. Right now, in my circle of friends, I know three musicians who are suffering from severe depression, two others struggling with crippling anxiety, and last December, I lost a young family member to suicide. This is why when I saw pianist and educator Jessica Carnevale of Rose City Piano post links to three organizations who offer help to musicians struggling with mental health on her Facebook page, I knew I needed to pass them on to as many people as I could.
Please, if you or someone you love needs support, don't wait until it's too late. Help is available, and it's affordable. Here are three places to start:
Backline is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects music industry professionals and their families with mental heal and wellness resources--streamlining access to a network of trusted organizations and care providers that understand this line of work. They offer:
Case Management: mental health professionals who work one-on-one with you to create a custom plan specifically catered to your needs, location, and financial resources
Support Groups: a safe place for people to come together and talk about what it means to work in the music industry in today's global climate
Mental Health and Wellness Resources: free subscriptions, exclusive discounts, videos and more content to educate the music community on mindfulness, nutrition, fitness, physiological health, and more.
Created by and for the music community, Music Minds Matter offers musicians virtual meet-ups about mental health. Its mission is to provide a safe space for musicians to talk to each other about the challenges they're facing. A schedule of the meet-ups can be found on Music Minds Matter website.
While not specifically targeted to musicians, Open Path Psychotherapy Collective is a non-profit nationwide network of mental health professionals dedicated to providing in-office and online mental health care--at a steeply reduced rate--to individuals, couples, children, and families in need. As long as there is a financial need, their lifetime membership of $59 allows people to see anyone in their network at a reduced rate.