SPEAKING OUT ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS

While a lot of people in Hollywood have been speaking out about their mental health issues, there are still many in the entertainment business who continue to suffer alone in silence.     Kita S. Curry, who is the president of Hirsch Mental Health Services, spoke out to Variety about why some musicians and celebrities don’t come forward about their mental and addiction issues. First off, a lot of confusion can happen when people became famous. “I think that when you become well known, it’s hard to know if people like you or like your halo. If you are depressed and already feel like you’re a failure, you never give up, it’s hard for people to understand the dark voices that can tell us what losers we are when people seem to be successful.”     But Curry is seeing more entertainers come forward, and she recently organized an event where Rick Springfield, who has been open about his struggles with depression, performed live. “In Hollywood, I believe more people have been honest, especially recently, about their mental health problems and addictions and how important it is to get help.”    At the same time, Curry adds, “[The] media that surrounds musician or actor suicides can sometimes sort of precipitate a contagion of other suicides. Like ‘God, if Robin Williams can’t make it how can I?’”     But again, more people are bravely coming forward, putting a public face on mental health issues that will hopefully encourage more people to get help. While some, like Robin Williams and most recently DJ Avicii, didn’t make it, there are many more who are winning the fight who can give people courage. “When a football player stands up, and a musician stands up, then we show people that you can do a lot of things in life and also have an illness as long as you get help,” Curry concludes.    
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