Yard Act has teamed up with Mind, a mental health charity, to create a new poem in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.
James Smith, the frontman, shared the poem via social media. He explained how he collaborated with Mel, a young woman suffering from an eating disorder (bulimia), in order to create the poem.
“When we first met on zoom, I instantly clicked with her,”Smith spoke highly of Mel. “Myself and Mel talked for an hour or so about her life and the condition she lives with. We had many similar views and she was an intelligent, grounded, and astute young lady who gave me hope for the best.
“I took great care when writing this [poem] to do justice to Mel’s story. She had a great ‘no holds barred’ approach to talking about bulimia and what she has to go through each day living with her eating disorder. Her belief, in her own words was ‘if you’re going to talk about, talk about it.’”
Here is James reading the poem. Below, you can see the entire poem.
Smith also shared the original poem’s text on YouTube. He explained that the first version of his poem was not yet available. “tweaked”It was because it was “deemed too triggering by MIND to be broadcast publicly.”
He also added: “Whilst myself and Mel were disappointed by the last minute tweaks, I completely understand the complexity and sensitivity around the subject and respect that decision had to be made.”
You can see the original poem here – this may prove triggering for people with eating disorders.
This is Mel’s story
Don’t assume that the life someone’s living
Because of the smile on their faces, it’s a given.
You don’t know what goes on in my head
When I’m alone in this place.
Mum and dad go out when mum and dad are away
And all other distractions are gone
That’s when the thoughts in my head roar,
Until I can’t ignore those thoughts anymore
So I binge on and purge until my throat hurts.
These patterns are collateral to all the things you stole
That’s why I keep coming back to the toilet bowl
I feel controlled by the cycle.
And I’ve a good life too
Tickets for Yungblud and a cat named Blue
A family that loves you, and a job that helps others
I’ve got so much going my way, so why?
Well, you never really know what’s going on
in someone else’s head do you?
So if you can’t understand, then don’t “just assume”
Suddenly the whole world knows what’s best for my health
In this moment, right now
All I need is to feel in control.
I was asked by @MindCharityI was able to work with one of their clients and write a poem in support of Mental Health Awareness Week. I had the honor of sharing Mel’s story with you. #mhaw pic.twitter.com/YR4KicStVA
— Yard Act (@YardActBand) May 10, 2022
Mel was meant to be in the video with me, but she got bloody Covid when she arrived on set and had to be quarantined – here’s us meeting through the window pic.twitter.com/0FAVQq8ryP
— Yard Act (@YardActBand) May 10, 2022
Meanwhile, Help Musicians launched a new digital mental health platform to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
Music Minds Matter Explore is a new website that provides support for musicians and other music industry workers.
Even after the last summer lockdown, the number musicians seeking advice and support from Help Musicians continues to rise. Musicians who seek counselling through Music Minds Matter have seen a 94.4 percent increase in their need for help in 2021, compared to the same time in 2020. Some of the most common concerns include financial worries and thoughts about leaving the music industry.
Joe Hastings, Head, Music Minds Matter at Help Musicians explained: “Music and musicians bring us all enormous joy but as these numbers show, mental health needs within the music industry are continuing to rise. Music Minds Matter Explore has been launched to provide all those working in the sector with a new and additional form of help – adding to the range of services Help Musicians offers in this area.”
You can Music Minds Matter – Explore Here.