The Campaign to Change Direction, launched in 2015 by Give an Hour, is designed to change the conversation around mental health and emotional well-being. An essential aspect of this effort has been support from cultural icons and leaders from the world of entertainment – including music.

Music has a unique role for those who are experiencing emotional suffering and for the process of healing and recovery. It has the ability to affect the human spirit in a fundamental way. The contributions and the passion of musicians has been a vital component of our effort to change the culture of mental health in America and bring these conversations to a larger audience.

Below are some artists who are using their voice to amplify our message and spread the word about the Campaign to Change Direction.

Chris Stapleton

2016 Agent of Change Awardee

Chris Stapleton is the first artist to win CMA Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the same awards – Traveller became the first album to re-enter the Billboard 200 all-genre album chart at No. 1, where it stayed for two straight weeks. From that album, Mr. Stapleton’s first ever music video, Fire Away, addresses the difficult subjects of suicide and mental health. The video is powerful and emotionally poignant. Mr. Stapleton had the notion of pairing his song with a video concept that would raise awareness of an important issue.

Chris and Morgane Stapleton, along with the entire Stapleton team, have shown great compassion, courage and willingness to step up to create this important story.  By lending their talent and their voices, these fine artists are helping us change the culture of mental health in America.

View Chris Stapleton’s pledge page.

Brian Wilson

2015 Agent of Change Awardee

One of the world’s legendary musical figures, Brian Wilson was the primary composer for the Beach Boys and was responsible for the release of a slew of hit singles during the early 1960s, creating music that would come to epitomize a generation. After years of seclusion and battling mental illness, Mr. Wilson revitalized his career with the release of several hugely successful solo albums including Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE, his long-awaited masterpiece, and, most recently, his album No Pier Pressure. He is currently the subject of a critically acclaimed biopic, Love & Mercy, which is based on his contributions to the music industry as a musical genius as well as the mental health struggles he has overcome.

My wife, Melinda, and I are very excited to be a part of this important campaign, not only to bring awareness to the mental health issues faced by millions of Americans, but also to encourage everyone to learn the Five Signs of emotional suffering,” said Brian Wilson. “It’s time for us to bring the conversation of mental health in America out of the shadows, and the Campaign to Change Direction is leading the way.”

View Brian Wilson’s pledge page.

What is the Agent of Change Award?

The Campaign to Change Direction presents its annual Agents of Change Award to an individual or individuals who have made a remarkable contribution to the Campaign and helped us to change the culture of mental health in America.

The first award was presented to Brian Wilson in 2015, and in 2016 the award is presented to Chris Stapleton and his wife, Morgane.

Agents of Change exemplify the spirit of the Campaign to Change Direction: thoughtful, poignant reflections on mental health and emotional suffering, along with the willingness to help the Campaign reach more people and change the conversation around this important topic.

Yasmine Van Wilt

Yasmine is an award-winning writer, singer-songwriter, performance artist and academic. She is a Mellon Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. She holds a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Newcastle University. She was a Women’s International Playwright in 2012 and 2015. Under her musical personas “Elle A” and “Van Wild” she has reached Top 40 music charts in the U.K. and U.S.. She was an Overseas Research Scholar, a Newcastle University International Scholar, a Soho Theatre Young Writer, and a Disney Dreamer and Doer. She is an Ambassador to Greenpeace Canada Climate March and the Campaign to Change Direction. She was an original signatory of the “fossil fuel” pledge.

Visit her site at www.yasminevanwilt.com/

Daphne Willis

Collaborating across multiple genres ranging from Soul-Rock and Pop to Hip Hop and Electronic Dance Music, classifying Daphne Willis in musical terms is no easy task. With infectious melodies delivered with lyrical precision and honesty, the songs and performances of Daphne Willis are sincere, compelling and relevant.

Thus far, 2016 has been a banner year for Willis. She has released two singles (“Spider in the Roses,” a collaboration with frequent tour mate Sonia Leigh, and “The Struggle is Real,” which advocates mental health awareness) and turned in main stage performances at both LA Pride and Nashville Pride.

Visit her site at www.daphnewillis.com/

Jon Mullane

Jon Mullane is a Los Angeles based, award winning, Billboard charting rock/pop singer, performer & songwriter, originally hailing from Halifax NS, Canada. Mullane’s song, Born Beautiful, encourages all of us to embrace the beauty we can find within ourselves. The video was shot by Dillon Garland, whose direction allowed Mullane to take his vision for the song to a different level by introducing the Five Signs. The agitated, withdrawn, and seemingly hopeless young woman in the video contemplates but ultimately rejects suicide.

I’m stoked to partner with the Campaign to Change Direction. They represent a very important and valuable resource to provide support for mental and emotional health issues, issues that have deep personal meaning for me.”

Visit his site at www.jonmullane.com/

Tarra Layne

Tarra Layne resides in a place where Robert Plant, Amy Winehouse, and Gretchen Wilson collide – where gritty, care-free, home-grown soul meets sultry pop-rock ‘n roll. Combining her heavy 90s R&B upbringing with a love for rock and blues, Tarra is constructing a style of her own. It has been referred to as “Funktry” due to her big soulful timbre, southern attitude, and contemporary twist.

Tarra’s bold vocals landed her on Season 11 of NBC’s The Voice where she was mentored by Bette Midler and Blake Shelton. She is also a featured singing voice for Mattel, lending her lead singing chops to Ari Hauntington, the ghostly pop star in the 2016 release ‘Welcome To Monster High.’ Her voice is now featured on the singing Ari doll available in stores nationwide. Tarra has shared the stage with renowned acts including Gavin Degraw, Vanessa Carlton, Lauren Alaina, Cassadee Pope, The Band Perry, and Katey Sagal to name a few.

Tarra has joined The Campaign The Change Direction to inspire others of the foundation’s importance and share her own relatable experiences. She will be raising funds for the organization’s efforts and creating an original audio/visual project due out in 2018. Layne is also working on her fourth coming EP with a special, noteworthy team of producers and her song ‘Cherry Moonshine’ is making it’s silver screen debut in the film ’30 Nights’ very soon.

Visit her site at www.tarralayne.com