Heavy Metal and Mental Health Links
The band Disturbed have a website that they launched as part of the release of their song ‘A Reason to Fight’, which is about overcoming mental health and addiction challenges. The language in this in fairly medically orientated but there is a good list of support contacts from around the world.
Sully Erna from Godsmack has formed The Scars Foundation as an awareness raising site around mental health, particularly related to suicide prevention. They are also on social media.
Heart Support are a web resource, also on social media, who offer support for young people experiencing mental health difficulties (so you can contact them on social media, for example) and were founded by Jake Luhrs from August Burns Red. They have the support of a number of bands and link to recovery programs.
The You Rock Foundation produced a number of videos with metal artists talking about mental health; including Corey Taylor, Jim Root, Jonathan Davies and Randy Blythe. They continue to have a presence on social media and do fundraising and awareness raising gigs.
Wes Geer, who was in Korn and Hed P.E. founded the US based addiction recovery project Rock to Recovery, they promote the role of performing music in recovery from substance misuse and have benefits concerts.
A related website to ours (because punk and metal are basically siblings) is Punk 4 Mental Health, run by a punk psychologist, Dr Joel Vos.
People from Northern Ireland may also be interested in the Metal for Life project, formed by a family bereaved by suicide. They raise awareness and run a support group for metalheads, they often have stalls at metal events in the UK as well, you can buy T-Shirts and such. Or, for a support space for men (not metal specific but a few metalheads go there) try Andy’s Man Club who have support groups across the UK.
Given to Live is a charity that raises money for people who have faced adversity or health/mental health challenges to attend a once in a lifetime gig, lots of these have been metal or rock gigs.
We have been very pleased to have had the support of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation who have shared our resources at their stalls at heavy metal festivals. The Foundation was formed after the death of Sophie, who was killed because of her ‘alternative’ appearance. They now raise awareness of hate crime towards alternative people and provide education programmes to schools and for the police. They also have some very cool merchandise
The International Society for Metal Music Studies is a hub of metal research, they produce the journal Metal Music Studies and have been very supportive of Heavy Metal Therapy.
In 2019 there was the first international World Metal Congress in London, allowing scholars, musicians and industry professionals to come together to discuss all things metal! Hopefully there will be more Congresses in years to come.
Our good friends at Open Minded Online have an excellent website looking at holistic approaches to managing mental health and wellbeing, and a comprehensive links section that covers a wide range of related projects.
Various videos from our YouTube channel related to mental health and metal music: