A Second Pandemic
When the COVID-19 pandemic took the world by storm, physical health was not the only thing at risk; the mental health of many individuals also deteriorated significantly. Recent national mental health data suggests an emerging need for access to mental health resources. The National Alliance on Mental Illness disclosed that 12 million adults and 3 million teenagers experienced suicidal thoughts in 2020, and that one-third of Americans confronted symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety. In Louisiana, suicide ranked as the 14th leading cause of all people in 2020, and was the 3rd leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 10 and 34, as reported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
A Vehicle for Communication
Music is the universal language that can communicate important messages in a way that humans simply cannot with their words. This year, the Brett Thomas Doussan Foundation and the Preservation Hall Foundation are harnessing music's great connecting power to put together an event that will provide a space for discourse about, and raise money in the name of mental health awareness.
On Sunday, September 11th, four New Orleans' music acts will join in song for the 5th *Almost* Annual Music for Mental Health Concert. This year's concert will include LeTrainiump, Margie Perez, Sabine McCalla, and Whisper Party's Rex + Jean, and will be hosted by event founder Kathryn Rose Wood. The event will feature stripped-down song and storytelling shows at Preservation Hall, with doors opening at 11am and the show starting at 11:30 am. There will be numerous local non-profit mental health organizations present providing resources to event attendees.
Previous iterations of this benefit have featured performers opening up about their experiences with mental illness that relate to the songs showcased in their performance setlist. The event was originally initiated to provide a space for individuals that may be uncomfortable attending an explicitly-mental health based event, or who may not feel comfortable communicating their personal mental health journey.
The concert serves as a yearly opportunity for listeners to take comfort and find relation with artist's music and stories, and also to connect with their community. The artists and partners for this year's Music For Mental Health Benefit are determined to continue instilling hope, providing resources, and illuminating the importance of discourse surrounding mental health. All benefit donations will be allocated to Louisiana-based mental health institutions, including AFSP Louisiana, the New Orleans' Musician's Clinic, Children's Hospital, and more.