This time of year is always a hard one for alot of people. I am pretty sure that is why October is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a subject that is swept under the carpet too often. It’s something I have been struggling with loads recently, living the life we do can be total chaos, late nights/early mornings and dealing with meeting loads of interesting people at once. While I do love all this crazy life Birdy and I have been creating around us, sometime it gets a bit much.
On the 10th October 2017 I released a new song called HELP…
Since it has been released I have had a lot of messages from my creative friends saying how this song sums up the feeling.
This is why I write songs, to get a feeling out of my head so I can process it. Its puts that feeling in a box so I can revisit it when I need to. This is a topic that means a lot to me, more so as I get older and I’m trying to spread the word in the hope of helping others by them relating to the song and becoming aware of the help that is available. As you know mental health is a universal and every day issue which is becoming an epidemic particularly among young people, and most recently highlighted has been the fact that male suicide is reportedly on the rise. I feel that this topic needs to be spoken about more so that the feelings of stigma and shame which are attached to mental illnesses can become one step closer to being eradicated in our society.
By speaking honestly in this song through my lyrics about my own experiences and allowing my friends, family and audience to see a side of me that is mostly hidden away, I am hopeful that other people will feel compelled to talk to someone about how they feel; because sometimes there is no visible reason for mental illness to become such a huge factor in someone’s life.
Birdy made a post on facebook recently about when I wrote this song. I was really unsure about playing it to people and if I should even ever play it at my gigs. I pride myself on my music and my gigs making people happy. I have been told by a fair few people that my gigs make them happy. That’s why they keep coming back. The idea of playing a song which for me is the most depressing song I have written in along time, to people, felt like it might good idea, but Birdy told me I should play it, and at the end of the day Birdy is boss.
The reaction I have got from this song has been mind blowing and people have thanked me for singing about mental health, and how more people should talk about it. When I found out the figures of how many people this affects, its well over a quarter of the population. As its something we don’t talk about its much more likely to be higher than this.
At Beautiful Days this year, while I was playing on the Bandstand, the heavens opened up, and I had to stop mid song to tell people to come on stage to get out of the rain…
IT POURED DOWN…
I carried on playing the song while all these people where climbing on stage. In the past I would have at this point played a cheery/up beat/sing a long song, but I have been working on a set this summer, and I have been sticking to it, like the awkward person I am. Everyone was on the Bandstand, then I sung HELP. I was thinking to myself at the time
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING”
“YOU ARE GONNA MAKE EVERYONE CRY”
“THEY ARE HERE FOR A GOOD TIME NOT A SAD TIME”.
The amount of people who thanked me for playing it was mind blowing… The fact no one left is even more so.
I have found there is a place for sad songs. Since I wrote this song and I have played it a lot, that black dog feeling goes down, but I have given myself a platform to shout as loudly as I can about the feeling in a controlled manner. Is that what I do? Making a living from shouting my problems at strangers?
The lovely people at CALM have sent me a bunch of Badges, Post Cards and Beer Mats, I will have them on the Merch Desk at every gig. Help yourself to some goodies for free, share them with people you care about, it might be a good way to open up those conversations with people who may need it.
Thank you all for the nice words, and helping spread the message.
Sometimes people find it easier to talk to a stranger, so encourage them to ring one of the helplines below. You can ring them yourself if you are worried about someone.
CALM : 0800 58 58 58
Helpline & web chat available 5pm to midnight every day
Samaritans 116 123 (24 hours)
A sanctuary for the suicidal
020 7263 7070
0300 123 3393 (Mon – Fri 9am – 6pm)
Papyrus Prevention of Young Suicide
0800 068 41 41 (Mon – Fri 10am – 5pm / 7pm – 10pm. Weekends 2pm – 5pm) www.papyrus-uk.org