ARTS FOR MENTAL HEALTH
Stop The Stigma
Make a Difference Today
Crowd-funding campaign video
Arts For Mental Health is the result of the sudden death of my aunt Mary. Her death sent me on a journey to look deeper into the mental health crisis that is currently plaguing our country and the world. After discovering how massive this epidemic truly is, I realized that I needed to try and help other people struggling with these same issues so that they wouldn't end up choosing the same path as my wonderful aunt.
Arts for Mental Health
Stop the Stigma
In the U.S. alone, there is one death by suicide every twelve minutes. As a statistic, this is an extremely troubling number. As someone who has been touched by this reality, it is even more devastating.
On July 7 of this year, my aunt Mary became one of those statistics. She graduated from Wesley Memorial School of Nursing at Loyola University (magna cum laude) and the University of California, San Francisco. She was a Nurse Practitioner. She was vibrant, intelligent, kind and generous. She enjoyed reading, gardening, music and art. Every twelve minutes, we lose someone just like Aunt Mary, my loved one who touched thousands of lives through her work and service.
According to the CDC, 80-90% of people who seek treatment for depression are treated successfully using therapy and medication. But, so many people struggling with mental health issues do not seek help for a myriad of reasons, including some are too ashamed, some cannot afford it, and some feel they can’t be helped. There is still a stigma in today’s world surrounding mental health, and this stigma needs to end.
This is why we have created “Arts for Mental Health”. Beginning on January 3, 2020 we will record a song that was based on the thoughts and feelings that came as result of my aunt’s death. All proceeds from this campaign, plus future purchases, streams, and royalties of this song will be donated to two leaders in the mental health community: No Stigmas and the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Our goal is to support and raise as much money as possible towards this cause and helping those in need with this same crisis.
We want to make sure no one is denied help or shamed into feeling like seeking help is not an option, regardless of their means. Through the power of the arts and music, we want work towards a brighter future for those struggling with their own depression and mental health issues.
How It Came Together
When I first had the idea for this campaign, I knew I wanted to use the arts and music to help others living with depression or mental health issues. This is not an epidemic that will go away or resolve itself, and something needs to be done. The suicide rate in the U.S. rose 24% from 2007 to 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among people ages 10 to 24 years old, it jumped 56%.
Mental illness and suicide are epidemics that affect so many, proving that even if someone has the means to get help, they don’t always do so. Knowing how much my aunt had been suffering in silence for so many years, and knowing how many others feel the same way, I felt I needed to do whatever I could to help as many people in similar situations as I could. I decided to use my own personal outlet and strength, music, to accomplish this. Music helped me cope with this loss, and I hope that by creating and performing this song, it can help others with their own battles, whether it is depression, coping with loss, or giving them the courage or means to seek treatment.
The music portion for “Holding Pattern” has actually been completed since 2015. Though I never had any inspiration to write lyrics for the music until all the feelings surrounding my aunt’s death came flooding in and I knew I needed to get them out in a positive and healthy way. With the help of Tyler and Keaton, we finished the song and lyrics this past fall. The song portrays someone battling with depression and thoughts of suicide, something that we don’t see or hear often in the media or today’s music. It is so important for people to understand they are not alone in these thoughts and feelings and there are others who understand and are coping with the same.
To accomplish this, we have put together an amazing team of individuals:
Me (Dan): (Ridgeway Recording) I am a multiple award-winning music producer, engineer, musicians, and educator and I am the creator and organizer behind this campaign. As stated above, this tragedy has made me want to do everything in my power to end the stigma around mental health issues. I will be producing, writing, playing and engineering the song. My donations include studio time, mixing time, pay, the website and associated fees, etc.
Kobi Swissa (Swissa Creative Inc.): Kobi has generously donated his time and expertise in videography and production this campaign.
Marco Degadillo: Marco, along with Kobi, did all of our storyboarding, scripting, shot the footage for the campaign video and will be shooting footage during the recording process. He also was the director for our promotional video.
Jill L. Ferguson (jillferguson.com): Jill, a best-selling author, was key to our script editing and gave amazing advice and words of wisdom.
Diana Torres (egg-plantation.com): Diana has played a vital role in building our website.
Keaton Snyder: Keaton (formerly of The Dodos) is the music co-producer for the song being recorded.
Musicians: (Alphabetical order)
James Fixx: James (fixxmusic.com) assisting in engineering as well as playing keys and singing.
Andrew Green: Andrew (twintalkmusic.com) is the percussionist and drummer.
Sean Jacobi: Sean is the bass guitar player for Holding Pattern.
Ben Norsworthy: Ben is the guitar player, keyboard player, and background vocal.
Tyler Warnygora: Tyler is the co-writer and singer for Holding Pattern.
Where Your Donation is Going
Making sure the musicians and producer are paid for their time
Mastering the song
Uploading fees for the song for distribution
After these expenses are met, 100% of your donations will go towards our partner charities to help end the stigma of mental health issues.
This is an extremely personal and meaningful project for me and my family, and I know so many others will feel the same. I want to thank everyone for their time and effort put toward this project and for the support my friends and family have given me through this process. I want to especially thank my mother, Ann, for her support and guidance during this difficult time. Losing her sister has been understandably difficult for her, but the help she has given me is unmatched even through that devastation. Please know that with your donation, you will not only be helping those struggling with depression and mental health issues, but also their families and loved ones. 90% of those who died by suicide in 2018 had a diagnosable mental health condition at the time of their deaths. There is help, and with your donation, we work towards a brighter future.
Thank you for helping us change the culture of mental health through art and the power of music. We weren't able to save my aunt, but together, we can help save others.