6 Questions That Explain it All
What is the most important point you want to make?
I am a folk singer/songwriter with a Christmas CD and 4 other CD's AVAILABLE for download or hard copy on my website ( www.heathermccready.com) iTunes and www.CDBaby.com
I am also a treated bipolar person and Mental Health Advocate with the MESSAGE
"Treatment Works"! I use the opportunities created by my music to spread the word and fight the ever-present stigmas STILL associated with all forms of mental health disorders.
The holidays are a painful time for people with depression and I want to encourage them that they are not alone. Also, they are not weak for taking medication for a chemical imbalance in their brain that is no fault of their own. There is HOPE for them to be healthy again if they are willing for treatment. I am just one example of that!
WHERE can people buy the song we just heard from your Christmas album and hear all of your other music? You have 5 CD's now, right?
Yes! The song we just played is on my Christmas album entitled, "Christmas The Way I Hear It". It and all four of my other CD's are available right now for download or hard copy on MY WEBSITE
( www.HeatherMcCready.com ), iTunes or CDBaby.com.
Your Christmas CD was released just last year and received a ton of great reviews! It was a recommended Christmas pic by Mario Tarradell, the music critic at "The Dallas Morning News" AND it was an "editors pic" on CD Baby! And I understand that you have been hard at work and have already released your fifth CD called, "Bluebirdy"! And I have heard there is something unique about this one from all of your others. What is it that sets "Bluebirdy" apart?
Well, I was thinking one day about how much music affected my mood and realized how difficult it was to find happy, peaceful music! It became clear to me that music is much more angry and depressive than it used to be in generations gone by. So, I decided that instead of producing another CD filled with my own original songs, that I would go back in time in search of some of the very best happy and peaceful classic songs. I chose songs from my youth (and from way before that!) and re-invented them in beautiful quirky ways with the help of my very talented teammate in music, arranger/producer, Mr Milo Deering . All the songs on "Bluebirdy" are happy, peaceful or both and are guaranteed to make people feel good. They just have to be willing to let go!
You are very passionate about mental health. Why?
Because I am a bipolar person myself . I was treated with electro-convulsant therapy or "shock treatments" over 10 years ago after 2 hospitalizations, once for mania and once for suicidal depression. I have now been stable and functional ever since! Unfortunately, we lost my aunt and her son, my 25 year- old cousin not too many years ago because they were not treated. They fought their bipolar diagnosis due to the stigmas that follow it and looked for comfort in ways many do, but that only exacerbate the problem. It is very deeply personal to me that I get the message out that there are no "crazy" people - there are only "sick" people in need of medical treatment and genuine understanding. Mental illnesses like depression and bipolar disorder for example, are chemical imbalances in the brain. It is no different to say " I have bipolar disorder and take medication" than it is to say "I am a diabetic and take insulin".
What would you like to see change in regards to mental health?
I think It's time people begin to understand that a chemical imbalance is a medical condition that needs to be treated as such. We, as a society need to be compassionate and supportive of people who suffer from bipolar disorder, for example, in the same way we encourage the treatment of people with other diseases. Why don't we see warm and cozy commercials for mental health facilities in the same way that we do for cancer treatment centers?? By contrast, how often do we hear negative messages in the media about people with untreated mental illnesses who have gone awry? Often we hear about the people who have overcome cancer in the public arena but rarely do we hear about the brilliant scientists, writers, musicians, journalists, and so on who have bravely and creatively changed the world while battling mental illnesses and carrying it's scars! Why is that?
You know the stigmas are strange to me because people who are genetically predisposed to mental illnesses are very often brilliant in way or another. They just have been very misunderstood. I myself have felt that stigma and still sometimes do. But, less so, because by receiving treatment and becoming stable, I, like so many other people out there, was finally able to have the help I need to actually become the person I genuinely was! I was freed from the bondage of it and became able to use my gifts more effectively. This is my hope for everyone!
Is it true that most suicides occur during the holidays?
Actually, no. It's in the spring. However, there ARE many suicides that occur during the holidays and I understand why. The lights and images of happiness contrast with the sadness they feel inside and it only makes their darkness feel darker.
Where do you perform next?
I will performing a few Christmas songs at the Grapevine Opry on December 15th.
And my next major concert will be at one of the best listening rooms in the country, Uncle Calvin's Coffehouse right here in Dallas! It will be February 22nd and tickets will go on sale soon!
Final Thought to end segment with:
If people are interested in learning more about my story, and my music I would welcome them because I need all the help I can get- as an artist AND a bipolar person :) Please visit http://www.HeatherMcCready.com , and connect with me on Twitter
( @Travelingirl1 )and "like" my TWO Facebook pages
"Heather McCready Music" and "Join Heather McCready to Fight for Mental Health Awareness".
My slogan is, "The stigmas will stop, the more people talk."
People will be amazed how many around them are suffering in silence and how much it helps to know they aren't suffering alone! Tweet about it, talk about it and before long it will become common place, as it should be. "Mental illness is not in your head! So, walk with your head up high"!
I have T-Shirts and other items available on my website with slogans like these and others.
And buy my CD's! Ha! They really DO make wonderful, unique Christmas gifts!!! :) Buy them for teachers, friends, family, co/workers etc!
I am offering signed copies and offer bulk discounts if people contact me right away directly through my website! So hurry!!!