SAN DIEGO, Calif. — The pandemic has meant challenging times for a lot of people, something that is likely weighing on their mental health.
Ryan Kainec is the founder of the Facebook community called ‘Mental Health Awareness Through Music.' The group was created with one goal: to connect musicians and lovers of music so that they can support each other.
“I really felt like the community and the rest of the world needed a safe place where they can express themselves and use music to heal themselves," Kainec said, adding that he feels a lot of people are experiencing uncertainty in their life and music is something that can lift them up.
If you join the group, you’ll see a number of musicians performing live-streamed sets, connecting with their audiences, and in general, looking out for each other.
Members of the group are encouraged to do things that are positive for their mental health, like sharing goals and sharing things that they are grateful for in life. Many of the songs artists share, oftentimes, sharing positive energy too.
“This is the place for you to not only share your music but the message behind it," Kainec said.
Although Kainec lives in San Diego, those who participate in the group are from around the world. He says before the pandemic, the group had about 250 members, but that quickly shot up to over a thousand members after things started closing down. He has a message for anyone that may feel alone in their struggles amid the pandemic.
“There’s so many people out there that you’re able to connect with virtually and there’s so many different resources that you have to get help. And just know that there's some guy you haven't met in San Diego that truly honestly cares about you," Kainec said.
A virtual concert is being held by the group this Saturday, and 80% of the proceeds will benefit a suicide prevention charity.
Resources for mental health support can be found on the National Institute of Public Health's website.