Forge Your Future Mental Health For Music and Creators
Whatever A Man May Be, There Is A Future To Be Forged
Forge Is All About Making Something Beautiful Out Of Something Ugly
With FORGEyourfuture, Forge is kicking off its multi-approach Mental Health Project for artists, musicians, entertainers, writers, the film world, and any type of creator who’s struggling. Our RESOURCE HUB has everything any creative could need, but it’s broken down in sections for youth, women, LG/BT/Q+ (yes, they all get their own section), Black, AAPI, Indigenous, LatinX, Immigrant, and so on.
In 2019, when it was basically just an idea and one client, Vince named what would one day be his agency FORGEcollective Agency (The Forge Agency, or just FORGE to our friends). FORGE is named that way because to Forge is to form or make something, from a highly concerted effort. It’s about trying hard to make something truly unique, and doing that as a way to inject some light into our darkness.
FORGE exists for creators of all kinds, though on its face it is a music publicity agency. We wade into other entertainment fields from time to time, and we have learned that all of these fields come with no shortage of mental health struggles for their adherents.
73% of musicians, according to Billboard, suffer from mental health problems, while 50% of musicians overall suffer from addiction issues. That means that a huge section of musicians on this earth have at least one addiction and one other mental health disorder. It is also extremely prevalent among other creative industries. Why are comedians depressed? Sarah Silverman says it best, “A hundred percent of comedians become comedians because in their childhood, they needed to be funny to survive.”
Authors with mental health issues have been my heroes my whole life. Rappers with mental illness are the norm (we love you, ‘Ye). The number of female artists with mental illness is ever-increasing as they navigate a hostile industry.
Artists with mental health issues are not just present, but dominant, in whichever industry they enter. We move art, music, comedy, TV, film, literature. These creative arts could not survive without us, but at the same time, us creators are not surviving. We’re dying off at alarming rates of suicide and addiction.
But FORGE has it our way, we’re going to create a world where we don’t just SURVIVE, don’t just THRIVE, but also REVIVE the world in our image through our art—a kinder world, one that really is for us and by us.
So, What Are We Gonna Do About It?
forgeCONNECT is the core of how we tackle community wellness. FORGEyourfuture are not mental health professionals, so we asked how we could tackle mental health. According to the APA, “loneliness and social isolation are twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity.” Vince, the founder, has experienced that firsthand over the last few years, well before COVID isolated everyone else. It got to the point that when COVID hit, he felt more connected to the world because he wasn’t lonely alone. That’s what CONNECT is all about. We give people the space and the friendships needed to cultivate growth and joy.
Yeah, but how?
All we do is create chances for connection. A lot of Gen Z and millennials have no idea how to make friends, and no one they feel they can lean on. A lot of us miss the high school and middle school days of sharing our problems, our hopes, and our home stress as freely as hugs and heys. So forgeCONNECT will take on a couple causes:
We’re going to pair people off for weekly in-person or virtual coffee sessions. The idea is to just get you chatting with another community member in Oakland or The East Bay, checking in on each other. We create someone to care about you out of a contact form.
We’ll pay special attention to issues of identity and specific creator or musician struggles. We hope to be able to match people according to their race, gender, or sexuality, since it helps to be able to relate on that level.
Eventually, we want to expand with all kinds of events for making friends. From Urban Hikes to all kinds of clubs and cohorts for keeping accountable on goals, habits good and bad, and wellness, we want to bring people together. Hopefully, we’ll get groups going for all kinds of interests. Think: fitness, music, investing, art and activities.
It’s the buddy system. It’s human to human accountability. It’s health through hope.
[NOT PEER SUPPORT. THIS IS FRIEND MATCHMAKING.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AT ALL]
So far we’re passing Patreon donations onto To Write Love On Her Arms. They’ve always excelled at the intersection of mental health and music culture. But their therapy scholarships, in which people can get a significant chunk of their therapy paid for, really struck Forge as important. We are working to partner with two local nonprofits in Oakland to collect for them as well. Between the three, we will donate 60% of our Patreon earnings.
If you need to get some real therapy in your life, just drop your info in the contact form and let us know it’s for forgeADVOCATE.
We are tenacious at finding people therapy and helping them apply for the support to afford it. We’ll recommend therapists that are actually able to take you on and stick with you until you can afford them. We’ll find someone who makes you comfortable in every way, or we’ll try again. Mental health in musicians, artists, and entertainers is a serious problem. And no one realizes how hard musician mental health issues make it to even spend the long time-commitment to find a therapist, especially when it might not pan out. We’ll go through those ups and downs for you.
Need Help? Want To Help? Drop Your Info
How To Support FYF
1) Become an "influencer" or ambassador for us
2) Become a monthly donor via Patreon and get sweet perks
3) Volunteer in so many ways
Drop your info in the contact form and let us know you want to help.
We’re funding through Patreon. And you get something for what you give!
Patreon allows creators to charge a monthly fee to their people so we can create for free. FORGEyourfuture is creating a world where creators and creatives can afford therapy, and grow through community. One-Time donations can be made via Paypal (to: firstname.lastname@example.org).
We have six “tiers” - you can offer $5, $10, or $25 per month to get exclusive content of all kinds. From mental health tumblr-style ramblings to courses for creatives, our exclusive Patreon-only Forge In Five Podcast, and premium content like guides, workbooks, and checklists.
For those with the bank roll and the genuine concern, we have premium “Creator” tiers where you’ll actually get “FORGE for a year PR” – helpful for any musician, artist, or entertainment professional. Starting at $50 and going up to $200, you’ll get wellness and music content, courses, coaching, and even "sponsor" status and perks.
Musician? We Do Submissions For Donations. Smash The Link.