30 Dec
A keyboard sitting on a stage.

By Rick McVicar

     Leading artists are coming out in droves to speak of their mental health concerns in an effort to combat stigma, according to Billboard magazine's website.

  In "Musicians Who Have Opened Up About Their Mental Health Concerns," May 4, 2021, Anna Chan describes how several artists have come forward with their personal stories. Artists have spoken up about their recovery from depression, PTSD and other forms of mental illness.

For instance, Adele and Alanis Morissette have both gone public about their postpartum depression. Morissette has called her depression "postpartum tar-drenched trenches." 

  Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande have both spoken about PTSD. Grande began experiencing PTSD following a concert in England where more than 20 people were killed by a bombing.

  Gaga in 2016 noted on her website, "There is a lot of shame attached to mental illness but it's important to know there is hope and a chance for recovery."

  Bipolar disorder has been discussed by Mariah Carey in 2018 with People magazine. Meanwhile, Bruce Springsteen has spoken about how his father suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The musician has been on medications himself.

  "I can swing rather dramatically and... the wheels can come off a little bit," Springsteen told Esquire magazine in 2018.

  To alleviate the mental health struggles of musicians and others in the music industry, such a as road crews and managers, an organization called Backline can help. According to Backline's website, the group partners with mental health agencies in several cities throughout the United States.

  About 73 percent of those working in the music industry experience feelings of stress, anxiety and depression. Almost half of those working to make music have no insurance, the website states. 

  In an article by Ashley Pointer, "The Music Industry is Having a Mental Health Crisis," found at Berklee Online Take Note's website, the 73 percent figure is attributed to a study released by the Swedish recording label Record Union.

   In Pointer's article, Backline's Executive Director Hilary Gleason tells how music has always helped listeners.

  "Whenever I've been having a hard time, you put on your favorite song or go to a show." 

   The music makers, in turn, need a little help as well.

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