CHARLOTTE, N.C. — During the month of July, R U OK CLT helped facilitate a dialogue at The Evening Muse between teens and young adults that focused on mental health wellness in the sixth of a year-long series.
Featured local artists who participated were singer-songwriter Maya Beth Atkins and comedian Tyrone Thompson. They shared their perspectives on what challenges they faced and how those challenges were best supported.
The event also featured performances from Atkins and Thompson followed by a discussion panel. Community resources were made available and support was offered to address the specific needs or questions before and after the event.
“Growing up is hard to do. For today’s teens, adolescence is an unsettling time, with the many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of life compounded with the pressures of social media and expectations of perfection. Mental health conditions are common among teens and young adults. One in five live with a mental health condition — half develop the condition by age 14 and three quarters by age 24,” organizers shared.
They added that mental health support services are available and the earlier that one accesses them the better.
Atkins is a rising freshman who will be attending the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The 18 year old began performing at the age of 12. She released her “Whatever You Are” album which was produced by Old House Studios and producer Chris Carges, Atkins recorded 10 original songs for the album. She reached out to some local musicians in the Charlotte music scene to be part of it. Included were Mike Kenerley (Jolene, Loudermilks), Shawn Lynch (Mitch Easter, Eyebrows, Loudermilks), D.K. (Come On Thunderchild, Mike Strauss Band), Dan Hood (Blue Dogs), and her father, Jason Atkins.
Proceeds from ticket sales benefited Mental Health America Central Carolinas. The Evening Muse uses the arts to raise awareness about mental health issues, Charlotte On the Cheap reported.