Music, play and faith in mental wellness

Ty Taylor is the explosive and dynamic frontman for Vintage Trouble, a funk, soul and rock band out of Los Angeles who is now playing to crowds upward of 125,000. The band has opened for the Rolling Stones, The Who, and just finished touring with ACDC. I don’t know who loves them more, the critics or the fans.

Taylor’s energy channels the positivity of another time, a modern day James Brown reminding us all to go to the club to forget our worries, to dance until we are soaking wet with sweat, to jump and play and get out of our effing heads for once. Vintage Trouble’s performances create a juke joint of joy, with music and community as an ultimate healer.

Ty has strong opinions about wellness, often asking his Facebook followers how they are keeping well, even when the odds of life get complicated. Taylor’s mother, a psychiatric nurse, could have worried about the ADHD nature of her spotlight seeking son. Instead, she encouraged his creativity, she gave him plenty of space to jump, flip, twirl and sing, and she encouraged a belief-system in a higher power.

Get to know Ty Taylor and Vintage Trouble now, before their juke joint gets so packed you can’t get in.

Alpha Rev Frontman Casey McPherson/Suicide Survivor, mental health advocate

Alpha Rev’s Casey McPherson’s music has so much emotional depth and beauty, one begins to sense that this charismatic frontman has been to very, very dark places and lived to tell about it. McPherson was incredibly open in this interview about his father’s suicide, and later, the suicide of his only brother. The former front man of Endochine, Mcpherson dissolved his band of five years and formed Alpha Rev to grapple with the aftermath of grief.

Today, McPherson helps other suicide survivors by advocating for mental health with the National Institute of Mental Health and offers up layered, orchestral, melody driven masterpieces.

Casey’s father suffered from Bipolar disorder and Mcpherson says he likely also suffers from the disorder. However, Mcpherson’s self-care is so exact, and his heart so open to accepting the beauty and the heartache of bipolar disorder, that he manages without medication.

“Music changes people,” says McPherson. “We’re trying to find happiness in music as opposed to self-destruction,” Indeed.

A Trauma Informed Approach to Care: Trillium Family Services CEO Kim Scott

As part of Mental Health awareness month, I hope you’ll listen to Trillium Family Services CEO Kim
Scott talk about a Trauma informed approach to care.

Scott says the key principles of a trauma informed approach:

  1. Realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery;
  2. Recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system;
  3. Responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices; and
  4. Seeks to actively resist re-traumatization.

The intervention programs attempt to respect the survivor’s need to be informed and hopeful regarding their own recovery. The team also recognizes the interrelation between trauma and symptoms of trauma, such as substance abuse, eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Trillium’s counselors work in a collaborative way with survivors, family and friends of the survivor and other human agencies.