Photos courtesy of TWLOHA
I spent the entire Sunday of Welcome To Rockville without a drop of beer and just sat back and took in the music. That night at Foo Fighters, a man stumbled onto me, his friend caught him and eventually took him out of the crowd to sit him down. It made me realize the power of human connection, relating back to the conversation Chad and I had. If there is anything humans can do to help one another it’s as simple as providing a shoulder to lean on.
That Sunday morning I had made my way inside Rockville as some of the early bands were starting. I had the pleasure of meeting up with Chad Moses (music and events coordinator) at TWLOHA tent, just as he was finishing a conversation with a festival goer. He greeted me with a huge smile as we made our way to the shaded part of the tent.
For those who are unfamiliar, TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms) is a nonprofit organization that has focused on mental health awareness, addiction, self-harm and suicide since 2006. It’s a safe place for those who are struggling, as well as a place for those who may not know how to support or reach out to a loved one.
What is your position here?
My name is Chad and I work in music and events at To Write Love On Her Arms.
So really it is my job to help coordinate our efforts as it relates to live music. A lot of that is working with artists, a lot of that is working with festivals. It's using the platform of live music to create some honest conversation around mental health.
What are some bands and festivals that you've worked with?
So right now we are at Welcome To Rockville. I'm trying to go back on the mental log here. We've been doing this festival for 5, maybe 6 years now. So this festival is apart of a festival circuit called: The World's Loudest Month. We've had the pleasure of working with that festival circuit for quite some time now. The guys at Warped Tour, that's one of our longest running relationships. We're about to hop back on the road with the Warped Tour for the 12th year running.
The music scene is always growing, always changing. We've been really fortunate over the past 12 years to have friends all over the music spectrum that have decided to wear our shirts on stage, find creative ways to care for their fans and connect them to resources.
So as we talk now, this is kind of the starting point for the rest of the summer, we're going to be traveling virtually nonstop until mid-August.
Listen to our full interview:
Wow. So Warped Tour is ending after this year?
The coast-to-coast tour. Yeah.
How do you feel about that? Does that affect you guys in any way?
It's more than just a tour for us. These are friends. These are people that believed in us before we really even knew what we were doing. We stand behind them in whatever form they take after this. We are hopeful after this year it doesn't just completely disappear. That there is some way that that culture and community can live on.
With that being said, we are super stoked to be on this last coast-to-coast run. We do have all of the dates on our website. So if you are curious about where you can find us this summer, hop on over to the events page and you will see where we are going to be and when we are going to be there. (Click here)
How do you aim to raise awareness for mental health issues?
We are a nonprofit movement. We exist to present hope and find help for anyone struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. We are not the counselors. We are not the treatment center. We don't pretend to be, but we do hope to be a bridge to connect anyone who's looking for help to that help. Ideally, that would look like help that is present within your community.
We go where people naturally come together. Whether that be online, a music festival, a high school, college, or a community of faith. Where people congregate, we want to be there. It says, "Look. It's okay to not be okay, but you don't have to do this alone." We have a whole number of programs we do. Music is just a piece of it. We do educational conferences. We are very present online. We are doing speaking events all of the time, as well.
For more information on how you can get involved or if you or a friend are looking for help click here.