When the pandemic began, concert halls closed and musicians suffered. Those who worked in the entertainment industry saw their income instantly cut off.
Many local musicians developed mental health problems and a few committed suicide. Studies show that musicians have much higher rates of stress, anxiety and depression. They are also more likely to struggle with drug addiction.
North Carolina has lost musical treasures to suicide. Two notable names are Faye Hunter from Let’s Active and Sam Moss, a beloved musician from Winston-Salem.
Pierre Holsapple has been playing music professionally for over 50 years. But there were times when even the music couldn’t soothe his soul.
“I have tried to kill myself in the past and I failed,” he said. “Fortunately, I can be sitting here today to speak.”
With the help of therapy, loved ones and music, hWe survived and eventually thrived again.
“I was very lucky to have people who cared enough about me to keep me from becoming a statistic,” Holsapple said.
Now, Holsapple wants to help others and joined a project called “Be good to yourself.”
The program helps musicians access mental health resources, especially those without health insurance.
To fund the project, Holsapple and his fellow musicians created an album. He said he hopes the project “will give people a chance to heal themselves.”