We fuel hope both by celebrating the power of human connection to music, and by directing people towards the resources they need before it’s too late - because suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Research shows that an overwhelming number of people who survive a suicide attempt are glad they lived, and do not die by another attempt. And over 90 percent of suicide victims have a diagnosable mental disorder. We believe that a connection to music, or to whatever treatment is best for a particular individual, can intervene and save lives.
OWB question: When was the site launched?
“We officially launched the new website last September 2019. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, so we correlated the launch with that. We got donations of a couple of thousand vinyl records, and we put our stickers on them and left them randomly all around New York City. It was an embodiment of the spirit of spreading music and the sense of community around the city. It was very special.”
March 19, 2018
March 19th 2018 was the official soft launch of Sounds of Saving! Our first episode features the leader of the Brooklyn based band Prairie Empire, solo artist, and the star of Broadway's Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, Brittain Ashford. Check it out here above and please help us fight suicide and depression by sharing the video and donating if you can.
OWB question: How can music be utilized as an early intervention in mental health and suicide prevention?
“Navigating the world of mental health and finding the resources that one needs can be a very daunting task for so many. We want to make mental and emotional health something that is not such a taboo or stigmatized subject. It should be something that is normalized and cool. Music is an incredible way to invite people to communicate long before a crisis would need to take place.”
Jolie Holland's "Mexico City"
Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio)
September 6, 2019
Music is a powerful tool for strengthening mental health. It’s the universal human language of emotion, connecting us across genres and continents. And our personal stories about how music creates hope are especially powerful.
Sounds of Saving works with musicians willing to share how music has helped them through difficult times, and who will use their platform to promote opening up and seeking help during mental health challenges. These relatable stories about overcoming hopelessness or distress, especially from those we admire, have been proven to decrease suicide attempts and can normalize conversations about mental health.
Mass media can save lives by presenting non-suicide alternatives to crises. This phenomenon is known as the Papageno Effect, named after a lovelorn character from the opera The Magic Flute who contemplates suicide until others offer him hope. For instance after Logic’s 2017 VMA performance of his song “1-800-273-8255,” titled after the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Lifeline received the second-highest call volume in its history. Music, which resonates with everyone in individual ways, is a powerful tool for the Papageno Effect - and one that can use contagious hope to improve the lives of at-risk people and populations.
Sounds of Saving believes that authentic human connection lies at the core of confronting mental illness. While social media can be a valuable tool for connection and we use it to share our content, we also recognize that it can have harmful effects on mental health in a variety of ways. We ask you to check in with yourself while you’re scrolling, and take a break if it doesn’t feel right.
Suzanne Vega's "Book of Dreams"
OWB question: Are you looking to facilitate conversations between the musicians who contribute their stories and people looking for support?
“We are very interested in peer to peer dialogue and community. In Zimbabwe, where they have so little mental health care, a psychiatrist trained grandmothers to invite people to have a communication intervention just sitting on local benches. They called this the "friendship bench" and clinical studies were done to show how effective it really was. This is the model and inspiration for us on the power of peer to peer communication.”
“I was surprised how positive the response was when I asked a group of 18 and 19-year-olds how they would feel about mental health professionals being available at concerts to have talking interventions. It shows that people are hungry for avenues that are not the conventional mental health approach.”
Good Day Bad Good Day Bad
Meshell Ndegeocello talks about her mental health and plays a song in which her partner wrote lyrics that helped fight back.
September 10, 2019
September 4, 2018
L'rain is a Brooklyn based experimental band, which merges soulful vocals with odd musical loops that work perfectly. The band produced an LP that was an ode to singer Taja Cheek's late mother, Lorraine. She chose to cover an amazing Dirty Projectors song that reached her at a critical time. Please help us raise awareness about suicide, depression and addiction by sharing.
September 13, 2018
Denitia chose to cover an amazing Patty Griffin song that reached her at a critical time. Please help us raise awareness about suicide, depression and addiction by sharing.
OWB question: How is the organization expanding from here?
“We are in the process of transitioning into being a site that can help people with resources, recommendations, and looking to get together a coalition of clinicians willing to donate some time for quick evaluations, short sessions, and directing people to further help and care. These are some of our longer-term goals, but we are just starting to build this and are very excited about the prospects.
In late 2016, I attended an event for a suicide-focused nonprofit that a friend of a friend has founded after losing his brother. I didn't expect to be majorly affected. But after recalling my Uncle Mike taking his own life, and the numerous friends that I lost to drug overdoses over the years, I knew I had to do something.
For me, music had always been the thing. The thing that picked me up when I was low. The thing that made me feel less alone. THE THING. But how could I use music to raise awareness and prevent suicides?
It immediately hit me that everyone I know who loves or plays music says the same thing: “Without music, I don’t know where I would be”. And on the spot, Sounds of Saving was created.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, speak with someone now:
Call 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741
OWB question: What exactly is the project now being worked on with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline?
"We just started an official partnership with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This will be a series of videos featured on the lifeline site with artists covering a song that found them at the right time and an interview about their lives and how they made it through a difficult time to tell stories of hope and recovery. Our first one is with Sharon Van Etten. "