Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale on Mental Health Awareness: ‘The More Allies We Have, the More Perspectives We Can Change’
It was just last fall when Halestorm's Lzzy Hale stepped to the podium at the Loudwire Music Awards to accept the Best Vocalist honor for the late Chester Bennington, delivering an emotionally powerful speech about the power of words and finding ways to lift each other up through the hard times. Earlier this month, the death of Huntress' Jill Janus who took her own life after dealing with mental illness issues for years led Hale to speak up again, hoping to change the conversation by starting a social media campaign. She posted via her social media asking fans to take a photo of themselves with the hashtag #RaiseYourHorns if they've dealt with mental illness with the goal of showing those dealing with these issues that they are not alone.
Speaking with Kerrang! about the campaign, Hale stated, "Honestly, it was kind of a whim of mine – I wasn’t trying to start anything. I wanted to do something for the community and the people I talk to every day online. When Jill from Huntress passed it was a shock to everybody, because we all knew her and always saw her floating around at awards shows and festivals. When you think about how lonely it must’ve been to have been hiding all those things she was feeling, it breaks your heart."
She adds, "What I’ve learnt from talking to people online is that there are so many people who feel that way. No one is alone in struggling with their mental health, and, in fact, I think those of us that struggle with it are the majority. I decided to just try something and give everybody a task. I didn’t put that much thought into #RaiseYourHorns – I know it means other things, believe me. I thought it’d be easy for people to take a picture, tag their friends and show everybody that people aren’t alone in feeling this way. The community have just run with it, which has been amazing."
Hale says she even heard from some of her peers in the community, with Disturbed's David Draiman being among those who posted his photo "raising his horns" as well. "When situations like Jill’s death come up, you can either respond negatively or try to put a little hope out there, and the latter has been an M.O. of mine. I’m in a lucky position whereby people, for better or worse, pay attention to the things I say. I feel a responsibility to portray that positivity."
"Realizing you’re not alone is important, because mental illness is human nature. It’s not like there’s a tiny minority that are dealing with these issues – the majority of people will go through some kind of mental trauma in their lives. If these silly ideas I have on the internet serve to calm one person down about their feelings, then I’ll be happy. Everyone is so afraid of not being okay, but it’s okay not to be okay," concludes the singer, who has been thrilled by the response to her #RaiseYourHorns posting.
Revisit Lzzy Hale's Speech at the 2017 Loudwire Music Awards
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