Noah Kahan: The world needs artists to be honest and open about mental illness

Pooneh Ghana

On the current leg of his We’ll All Be Here Forever tour, Noah Kahan is prioritizing mental health. He’s providing information about local mental health resources at each stop, and his band and crew are also getting tourwide mental health care. For Noah, the more people talk about mental health, the better.

“I think it’s important for artists, musicians, actors — anyone who has a platform to reach a lot of people — to be honest and open about mental illness, because the world needs it,” Noah told ABC Audio several years ago.  

Due to artists speaking out, Noah said, “I think there’s been a pretty incredible relaxation in the stigma around mental illness, at least with anxiety and depression.”

“And when you see someone — a huge artist — open up about something like that, you feel like you’re not as alone and you don’t have to be so ashamed of it.”

And he’s speaking from personal experience. Noah revealed that Conor Oberst of indie band Bright Eyes was “one of the first artists I listened to that would talk about Prozac and would talk about depression.”

“I was going through these things as a kid who wanted to be a songwriter, and I was like, ‘Well, I can’t do it if I have these things because it’s going to affect me for the rest of my life and I have to be happy, and I have to be always able to create,'” Noah said. 

“So hearing him open up about it allowed me to kind of calm down a little bit and realize that my problems weren’t going to cause the end of my career. They’re something I need to work on, but it’s not going to ruin everything for me.”

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