1 in 4 people experience mental health issues each year. Depression in adults has doubled since lockdown. Let that sink in for a second. Living in a time when mental health has become an issue increasingly at the forefront of the conversation, it's always beautiful to see people come together to provide support for a cause.
This is what a group of students have done, compiling an album called 'Let's Talk' with all proceeds going to Mind; a mental health charity in the UK which offers information and advice to people with mental health problems and lobbies government and local authorities on their behalf. With charities such as this receiving less help, it becomes important to create conversation around it. We've all experienced the difficulties of lockdown and felt its effect in a number of ways. With constant reiteration of 'social-distancing', its no wonder that 'isolation' is driving the sense of separation in a time which undoubtedly needs solidarity more than ever.
"Something positive that came out of something very negative."
Admist the panic and chaos, there's glimmers. Using this time as an opportunity to reflect, change and redirect, the mixture of students have created an album which, I can honestly say, is one of the best I've heard this year. Organised by Jon Kite, students from St. Andrews University, and others dotted all over the country, allows the the diverse mixture of continents, cultures and backgrounds to translate into sounds and genres that could not normally be envisioned together. The cohesive blend of rap, indie, folk and even classical-esque pieces, paints an incredible canvas of unity; touching on important topics of perspective whilst capturing each artist's own story. Sentimental, reflective with pockets of optimistic bounce there is truly something quite beautiful about this collection of individual chapters which come together to contemplate the times that we live in.
As of this moment, they've been able to raise over six hundred pounds and are hoping to reach a thousand. They've also highlighted the importance of a growing collective vision; using their artistry to create and provide support. Impact and raise both money and awareness to issues which can often be swept under the rug. Over 7 hours of phone time daily and entertainment focused society, perhaps a decade or two ago, binge watching and not getting out of bed would have been need for concern. But it may be that these new normalised ways of living could be more reasons that are causing the rise of anxiety, depression and loneliness. And hopefully more projects like this can bring about new ways of thinking and overcoming this collective state.
"Our minds are incredible, but often confusing and overwhelming too. We all have individual struggles but it’s when we come together to support and share our experiences that we are strongest. This collaborative album shares the experiences and thoughts of the artists to try and help some of the people suffering from loneliness and hardship in this changing world. We want to contribute to the growing conversation on mental health and raise funds for Mind who support and empower individuals who are struggling. Please listen, enjoy and donate."
Donate to the project here