Music is a source of comfort, community, and happiness for a lot of people; it's a positive emotional outlet, it connects people, and allows them to escape for a few hours. The local music scene in the Chicago area has provided this for me and many others, and a lot of the people and bands involved are also highly supportive of Hope For The Day and our message.
Members of HFTD occasionally give speeches at these local shows. One of the things that we always mention is that silence is the largest obstacle to suicide prevention. However, "Silence" and "stigma" are not just buzzwords that are used in speeches. While it may seem like mental health is discussed a lot within our music scene, as a whole, people are still reluctant to talk about it, which actively harms those who struggle with mental health.
Stigmas are the social and cultural factors that try to dictate how we express ourselves. Stigma makes us silent on mental health symptoms, making it difficult for those in need to speak out and receive help. Many of you know of Things We Don't Say as our blog series that focuses on reducing stigma through mental health education - now, it is also going to begin incorporating a concert series in the west suburbs of Chicago!
Thanks to a grant provided by the Community Memorial Foundation, these concerts will take place at Evolution Music in Downers Grove, IL and become a creative method of community outreach, programming, and proactive prevention. The first concert is free to attend and will take place on September 3rd. It features a lineup consisting of Everyone Says, Three Years, Rare Candy, Stratford, and Little Crown.
Education materials will be provided during the concert, and attendees will also be given the opportunity to sign up for Mental Health First Aid training. MHFA is a one-time, approximately eight hour long course and equips people with information on how to be supportive to those struggling with a mental health issue or crisis. The next Mental Health First Aid training session that HFTD is hosting is taking place in September in our Chicago office. If you are unable to attend the concert but would still like to sign up for MFHA training, we will be updating our Events page as details develop. This course is free and open to the public!
\\Everyone Says performing at a previous show at Evolution Music in Downers Grove, IL. Photo: Taylor Merrick//
For pop-punk band, Everyone Says, this is a hometown show that hits a topic that is close to home. Their front-man, Peter Szpytek, explains that "...the song "American Pop-Punk" off of our latest EP, It's A Bird..., is about a time in my life that many people dealing with depression can relate to; the bad week that turns into a bad month, that turns into a bad year. I was dealing with some heavy bouts of loneliness at the time, which I reference in the song, that never seemed to go away. It took a lot of work and personal growth to get to a place where I could feel alright again. Whether you deal with a mental illness or not, personal struggles are something that everyone deals with at one point or another. It's very easy to sit around and wallow in your own self-pity, but the hard part is dealing with it and growing. Our band strives to teach people just how important that growth is."
\\Three Years performing at Royal Skate and Apparel in Lansing, IL. Photo: Kyle Bergfors//
Three Years is a hardcore band from Chicago, IL. They released their debut EP, Devolution, last year. Combining a variety of heavy and melodic influences, the band focuses on spreading a message of acceptance, equality, and awareness for environmental conservation. You can watch the music video for their song "Thin Blue Line", here!
\\Rare Candy performing at Treehouse Records in Chicago, IL. Photo: Kaitlyn Johnson//
Rare Candy is an acoustic act from Chicago, IL by Alex Wieringa, who is also known for being the bassist in Belmont. Rare Candy released his first EP, Cream Soda, on February 25th, 2017. Characterized by intricate riffs, catchy lyrics, and heartfelt singing, you can listen to Rare Candy here!
\\Stratford performing at Centennial Lanes in Tinley Park, IL. Photo: Amanda Huerta//
Stratford is a post-hardcore band from Joliet, IL. Taking influence from bands such as Silverstein, Counterparts, and more, Stratford are long-time supporters of HFTD and we are excited to have them on this show. They released a new EP titled Datura last month that you can listen to here.
\\Little Crown performing at Evolution Music in Chicago, IL//
Little Crown is an up and coming acoustic act by Phoenix Butler from Chicago, IL. You can expect to hear new music from her soon!