Ethan and Mike, lead musicians in the band Manifide recently sat down with NAMI to talk about their upcoming concert celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month, and their own personal experiences with mental health. Through their music they want to raise awareness that people with depression and other types of mental illness can be a positive influence on society, and can recover. They even helped us kick off Mental Health Month with an appearance on New Day Northwest!

Ethan (left) and Mike (right)

What motivated you to put together this concert for Mental Health Month? What will make you feel like the concert was a success?

Ethan: I always wanted to do a charity in my life, and to do good for people.  Just knowing that me being a speck of sand - just one small insignificant person in this world but being able to help people with music is, ya know, an awesome opportunity. Life goes hand in hand with it no matter what music you are into, music is music and being able to play it for people is the best. To me the show is already a success - just the fact that we were able to partner with NAMI, and to come out with an album, an album with a message, and to perform the album backed by an orchestra... Yeah, to me it's already been successful. 

Mike: My mania. I lost a lot during those few weeks of not sleeping and recovering, though, I gained an album with some pretty good tunes I think. I want to be able to hear what was in my head, and being able to perform the album with Ethan and my orchestra friends is just a wonderful highlight for me in my life. But most of all, it's the message - it's real, it's honest, and it gives reason to the madness... at least my madness. Ethan's too. Maybe we're crazy, but it doesn't matter 'cause our friends are by our side. 

What advice or insight would you share with someone who is going through a hard time with their own mental health?

Ethan: Stay on the medications. Get counseling. Listen to your counselor. Gain healthy habits - take your vitamin D with your meds. It's amazing just what Vitamin D in your diet can do for a person. Hygiene. Keeping up on it sounds so small but keeping it up can build up your self confidence and how you feel about yourself; it can change how you carry and portray yourself. When you're depressed you don't care about your hygiene, ya know? Just making that step helps. 

Mike: Don't be afraid to share your feelings or thoughts. What I have found is that when I have confided how I feel or what I've been dealing with, I have been surprised that most people have felt the way I have too, but just had no one to talk about it with. And, just maybe, you confiding your feelings in them may be the very thing that that person has needed for a while. That's what Ethan did for me - he knew how it felt to go manic, and he helped me figure it out, and in turn, I helped him figure himself out too. I got to understand him more because of that, and I got to understand myself better because of that. That's Brighter Days.

The concert, the Brighter Days Showcase, will be on May 26th, 2017, at 7:30pm at the Hillman City Collaboratory presented by NAMI Seattle and Community Arts Create featuring Tyler Edwards and Vicious Petals, accompanied by Manifide's Brighter Days Orchestra for mental health awareness month. All proceeds benefit NAMI Seattle and Community Arts Create. General admission tickets are $15 and available online - and the show is all ages.

You can see the new music video for Brighter Days here.