With the advent of artist suicides – including Avicii and Chester Bennington – and the connection of mental health / lack of outreach, a movement is developing to raise awareness and make wellness more of a priority. James Blake decided to speak up about what it means to have a mental illness within the music industry and how to deal with it.

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The 29-year-old singer opened up about his own struggles that started when he began touring at the young age of 21. While speaking at the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) annual symposium in Orange County, California, as part of the panel, You Got This: Managing the Suicide Crisis in the Arts Population, Blake disclosed how he felt during those early days: “your connection to other people becomes surface level. So if you were only in town for one day and someone asked you how you are, you go into the good stuff… which generally doesn’t involve how anxious you feel [or] how depressed you feel.”

For those who suffer from depression and/or anxiety, this story is all too familiar.

James’ personal solution came in the form of saying “No’ : “Honestly, a lot of catharsis just came in telling lots of people to fuck off. And saying no. Saying no to constant touring. No [amount of] money will ever be enough… we’ve reached a critical point. We are the generation that’s watched several other generations of musicians turn to drugs and turn to excess and coping mechanisms that have destroyed them. And there are so many high-profile people recently who’ve taken their own lives. So we, I think, have a responsibility to talk about it and to remove the stigma.”

Whether it’s telling others to leave or just being alone for a certain amount of time, people should take this advice and spend more time focusing on their own wellness rather than performing for others.

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