Mental health has never been a topic widely talked about nor understood. Every year, 44,000 Americans battling these mental illnesses take their lives. Organizations have stepped up to educate and spread awareness about the prevalence of mental health disorders. The music scene has taken its own steps to be proactive to these issues. The local music scene in Connecticut is taking steps as well, with bands sharing music to spread the word. Half Hearted‘s Sean Dalke and Light It Up‘s Gina Fritz collaborated on a meaningful cover of Linkin Park’s “Heavy”.

“I actually wanted to [cover] that song the very first time I heard it,” Dalke shared. “I love the emotion behind it and really connected with the lyrics. I love music that can really reach out and connect to people. That’s what I strive to make and that’s why I make it.”

“Heavy” explores the unrelenting effects of a mental illness and the weight it puts on the person bearing it. Dalke shared that he lost a close friend to suicide, and now aims to be more aware and helpful to those struggling.

“The reason I do this is to connect to people, and hopefully be able to help in some minuscule way…Mental Heath is no joke. This moment definitely changed the way I’ll interact with everyone every second of my life going forward. You never know what’s going on in someone’s head. Gotta make sure everyone knows they’re loved. Hopefully music can do that.”

Many people look up to musicians and are heavily influenced by what they have to say. When artists use their platform to spread awareness, it creates a more proactive scene that can help combat suicide and end stigmas against mental illness. Your local scene is the perfect place to start lending a hand.

Check out the video for Sean Dalke and Gina Fritz’s cover of “Heavy” by Linkin Park below.