As you may know, this month is dedicated to mental health awareness . Fews weeks ago I had the chance to speak to Sean Smith former singer of The Blackout and now in the band Raiders. I asked him some questions about mental health and he perfectly answered to them.
My first question was about his feelings, considering that ten years ago it was more difficult for people to speak about their struggles with depression, anxiety and other mental issues:
Sean Smith : I think there are two options. It’s really good that more people are talking and getting updates. But there are also people who will lash into it, just for attention sometimes. Overall, it’s got to be a good, positive thing that people are talking about it. But some people obviously, like with everything, they’ll tag along to it and it will be horrible. We were talking about Frank Carter. Me and him spoke on our podcast not long ago and we were talking about his mental health. Like you said, ten years ago, artists weren’t talking about their mental health. Frank now, for me, is at the forefront of British music for talking about it. He’s been through some tough times. On our podcast, I spoke to him about… I saw a video of him singing with Rage Against the Machine and I knew how good he felt in that moment. That made me feel better, because I know him. Yeah, it’s really good that people are talking about mental health. We all go through these patches. Nobody is perfect. That’s another thing showing… When, ten years ago, rock stars or people in bands weren’t talking about it, we all just thought they were invincible, they never went through bad days and just lived in mansions and they were always happy. That’s not the case. It’s good for people to realise that the people they call heroes are just normal people and they’re going through the same shit as the rest of us.
Then I asked him what advice would he give to someone who doesn’t have the courage to speak up about his struggles :
Sean Smith : Speak to people, speak to friends. I’ve got really close friends and my girlfriend who, I’m lucky enough, I can speak to. What you find is… You’re nervous to speak about it with people at first, but as soon as you do, they go “Oh I go through the same thing” or “I’ve got something similar”. And that’s really helpful to you and to them as well. It’s not just you you’re helping out. When you go speak to someone, you’re not just helping you, you’re helping them understand their situation as they understand yours better. So just speak to people. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. We are all going through crap times. And it will get better.