Traditional mental healthcare messaging doesn’t necessarily reach those who need it. People in different musical subcultures speak their own language around mental health that doesn’t subscribe to typical messaging.*
But extensive research shows that when details of positive coping during crisis are presented through media, it has a protective quality for those who may be experiencing suicidal ideation and encourages help-seeking and hopefulness. This contagion of hope is known as the Papageno effect—the impact that media can have by presenting non-suicide alternatives to crisis.
We see music, for creators and listeners, as a uniquely powerful space to process struggle and joy and stay connected to each other.
1: Reduce Stigma, Raise Awareness, Spread Hopefulness
By spreading personal stories from artists and fans about managing mental health struggles, we create dialogue that minimizes shame surrounding discussions of mental wellbeing.
2: Educate & Engage
We host and appear at live events to provide resources about mental health to music fans of all genres, with extra focus on under-represented communities and young people who may be unaware of, or even feel alienated by, the existing culture of mental health care.
3: Provide Pathways to Treatment
Through the SoS Therapy Fund, we offer grants to fans and artists that cover up to 12 psychotherapy sessions with experienced and culturally competent clinicians in their area or online. We partner with specific clinical networks to increase the likelihood that participants are able to financially afford treatment if desired following the grant period.
Americans are experiencing high rates of mental health struggles and suicide. Factors that prevent people from seeking needed mental health treatment include stigma and lack of education and awareness, as well as the high costs, limited options and long waits embedded in our health care system — particularly for marginalized communities and young people.
SoS was created in response to a major loss in my life. My uncle Mike took his life and left behind his wife Michele and four kids. As you can imagine, it was a very hard time for me and my entire family.
In reflection, it caused me to then take a good look at the world around me and the state of our collective mental health and I decided that I had to do something.
I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and therapy wasn’t part of the conversation. But I like to think people like Erykah Badu and Elliott Smith filled that void. And everyone I knew that had a strong relationship with music would say something similar.
For me music was and is mental health. But sometimes music is not enough. And that’s why SoS exists. To bridge that divide—leveraging the emotional connection we feel to music and our personal relationships to the artists we respect and admire to open doors that may otherwise be closed and reaching individuals that may be skeptical or unable to access traditional mental health care.
— Nick Greto, co-founder