The ‘You Rock Foundation’ Spotlights Musicians Sharing Stories, Battling Depression And Suicide
The You Rock Foundation was founded in 2014 by Joe Penola, a man who survived two suicide attempts after his father died in a car crash with Penola was just 16. He decided to start the project to help others struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Many musicians have joined Penola in sharing their stories and helping to spread awareness and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness.
The website states that an estimated 20 million Americans are affected by depression, a condition that can result in feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and loss of interest in activities. It is also the largest contributor to suicide, which is now the 3rd leading cause of death among youth aged 15-24, and the 2nd leading death among college students.
From the website:
“The You Rock Foundation was created to serve as a safe haven for those who have suffered or are currently suffering. Using music as a backdrop, You Rock seeks to pull those suffering out of the dark and show them the possibilities of moving forward with life.”
The Foundation also lists the following goals:
- To spread awareness through popular bands and artists as agents for communication.
- To educate, battle stigmas, ignorance, and promote acceptance.
- To empower, and give everyone the power to choose through sharing and inspiration.
- To thrive in seeking hope and positive actions to live a life that rocks.
The following are among the many artists who have already shared their stories:
Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, who discusses his depression, suicide attempt, his self-medication, and his experience in a psychiatric ward.
Steve Zing of Danzig (bassist) and Samhain (drummer) who has “battled through hard times” and “shares that every part of him was in shambles.”
Jim Root, guitarist for Slipknot, who talked to The Foundation about his struggles with feeling like an outsider and his “turbulent thoughts” throughout his life.
Richard Patrick, frontman for Filter and the supergroups, Army of Anyone & The Damning Well, who spoke to Penola about a suicide attempt and battling alcoholism.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology