Slipknot's Shawn 'The Clown' Crahan has recently opened up about how important it is to discuss mental health problems.
Shawn's discussion with NME follows the recent suicides of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, as he highlights how it's crucial for us to talk about our problems, and be there for each other.
Too many blokes out there have a "she'll be right" attitude, or reckon they need to "harden up" if they're experiencing depression, anxiety or mental health problems, but as Shawn has said, it's so important to break this stigma:
My friends are dying, and I can’t take that any more. Personally, I just want to say that I’m so saddened by the pain, the loneliness and the isolation. I’m not sure what happened, I’m not in people’s minds, but it’s a frightening thought to know that someone has something else on their mind that you don’t know.
I just want to say how sorry I am and how much love I have for the families of what’s been going on recently.
To the general public, just remember the people around you. You might not know what they’re thinking so it’s always nice to be checked in on, and to check in on people.
Shawn also gave some pretty important glimpses into how it's actually pretty normal to experience depression, and how it doesn't make you any less of a person:
What people need to know is that there are beautiful, wonderful people in the world who have empathy and work with the human condition. They understand what being ‘sick’ is. It’s not a human being’s fault to have chemical imbalances. We’re just scared
The people who you think are the most solid are often the most hurt. That can be hard to wrap your head around. As the world grows and technology grows, it’s getting harder to communicate and for kids to socialise. We need to take behavioural health recovery seriously.
Having expressed that he's experienced depression himself (following the death of his mother and his bandmate Paul Gray), The Clown had some very wise parting words:
“We all have flaws. Some people have a astigmatism in their eyes, some people have ulcers, this is the same thing. You could have anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, paranoia, anything. It’s mental health – it’s not a hard thing to wrap your head around. Don’t be scared. These physical and mental attributes can be helped by wonderful people who dedicate their lives to helping others."
“People need to know that it’s OK to seek help. Sometimes in depression it’s hard to feel like you’re not alone – but you’re not."
Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906 (Palmerston North and Levin)
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Samaritans: 0800 726 666 (available 24/7)
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.