The stigma surrounding mental health has drastically changed over the last decade, with people beginning to realise how important it is to talk about their issues. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has fuelled the fire, with loneliness and isolation rates soaring and NHS services stretched razor-thin. In the music industry, nine in 10 musicians reported their mental health has deteriorated since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020. As a reaction to this, some dance music collectives are working to raise funds for mental health support, and awareness of how people’s lives have been impacted.
Hey, do you need someone to talk to?
‘Hey, do you need someone to talk to?’ is the seventh compilation mix from the label Sticky Tapes, a physical mix series with all proceeds going to charity. Explaining the influence behind the name, Theo Giles, founder of Sticky Tapes, who DJs as Theo Everyday, says the compilation was “born from a place of suffering from mental health issues”. Theo wanted to make a project which would “provoke reflection” and “open up” the conversation surrounding mental health.
Released in October 2021, the digital-only six-track compilation features Elle Murphy, Picasso, IN2STELLAR, Kitsta, PRAYER, Tim Reaper and Theo Everyday. It’s being sold on Bandcamp, with proceeds split between The Samaritans, SANEline and Switchboard. A run of 500 posters was put up across London to advertise the compilation, featuring rip tickets with the phone numbers of the charity helplines. The posters also featured a QR code that directed people to the NHS website, where they could get support.
“This was a nice personal touch for me,” Theo continues, “because although I’ve dealt with mental health problems since I was 16 years old, it was only in the last year that I was convinced by a friend to go on that site and get help for my anxiety.” So far, the project has raised over £300, which Theo admits “isn’t a massive amount of money”, but he hopes it will bring awareness to the charities for those in the dance music scene.