‘Fire Away’ Allows Us to See Inside the Pain
Chris Stapleton’s latest video, “Fire Away”, is refreshing to watch, and to read the lyrics. Chris is a well-known and highly respected country music artist. He recently won Grammy awards for Best Country Album and Male Vocalist of the Year. So, to see him shine a spotlight on the subject of mental illness is both inspiring and important. This video could very well mark the beginning of what may be a significant crossroad with mainstream media and editors’ willingness to focus on such an explosive issue.
Mental health is an issue gaining prominence in the media today. While the number of diagnosed and suspected cases of mental health issues is starting to rise with better understanding and more detailed research, it is still a subject that many people are willing to sweeping under the carpet. To better understand the scale of the issues and to have the relevant conversations that will start to address the solutions, it is important for us to accept the fact that mental health disorders affect us all.
Chris Stapleton’s cut, “Fire Away” – Maybe It’s Not Such an Idyllic Life
The Fire Away video centers on a couple who seem to enjoy an idyllic life. But as the song moves along, their lives start to reveal trouble. Toward the end, the wife self-harms. If this video strikes a chord with even one viewer and motivates them to seek help, or to seek help for another, then it will be a far more powerful video than those released by other artists who indulge in so much self-importance.
It is not just the responsibility of the healthcare community to acknowledge and welcome the challenges raised by mental health issues. Our mass media has a critical role to play in dispelling taboos in all segments of society, including mental health. We have seen great strides in film, television and the performing arts by confronting the issues of sexism, racism and disability. The issue of mental health needs to be taken on in the same way and brought to the forefront of the minds of individuals everywhere.
Stapleton uses his profile to help support the work that many inside the healthcare field have worked to bring mental health issues to the forefront. Without this level of high profile exposure, the pace of social acceptance is much slower. We lose many people to suicide who suffer conditions such as depression that are diagnosable and treatable – if only more people were aware and knew how to seek effective care.
Courageous Individuals Battle Mental Health Issues
Stapleton’s newest cut is an invitation to society as a whole to acknowledge mental health diagnoses in the same way that physical health is acknowledged. An individual who battles cancer is (rightly) hailed as a hero, as someone who is brave. Currently, no similar sentiment is ascribed to those battling mental health issues. We can only hope that more celebrity declarations of support and understanding, like this Chris Stapleton video, appear in the media in all forms and drive home the point that this is an issue we can deal with together.