The Rise of the Mental Health Artist
By Joshua Walters
On October 10th, Musician LAUV used his fame as a chart-topping artist to do something about mental health awareness. 10/10 is World Mental Health Day, and to honor the event he held a discussion with other artists and professionals all of whom who are open about their own mental health experiences. The discussion was filmed in front of a studio audience in NYC at the Youtube Space, one of many studios around the world set up by Youtube that gives creators with over five thousand subscribers a place to work. (LAUV has well over 2 million subscribers on Youtube and is among the top 50 artists in the world on Spotify, with close to 30 million monthly streams.) The discussion was candid and fellow artists opened up about medication, diagnosis, and wellness tools they use as creative people.
A week later LAUV performed two sold out shows in Oakland at the Fox Theater, and PEERS was there to table in the lobby. Seeing LAUV Live is experiencing a new breed of mental health artist. A screensaver graphic goes up before the show and along with fun, feel-good messages, is a number where you can text LAUV, for those who need a support. In the lobby are booths called My Blue Thoughts, where anyone can express their emotions through text or audio. The stories are collected with the help of sponsor Microsoft and one can see a global map where those involved have participated in the project. It all makes the audience, mostly teenage girls, feel right at home to express themselves and to reach out when they need someone to talk to.
LAUV is opening doors for others to share their stories and shed the shame and stigma that often surround mental health challenges. As he continues to rise in popularity, LAUV also spreads much needed awareness about mental health.