Meet the man playing piano for 24 hours to raise money for mental health
- Credit: Archant
A Norfolk man will play piano for 24 hours to make people feel less alone during lockdown while raising money for a mental health charity.
Josh Johnson, from Lingwood, will perform the marathon, which will take place on live streaming platform Twitch on Saturday April 11 from 12pm, to fundraise for Mind mental health.
The 21-year-old said he has struggled with low moments and pointed out mental health problems are a huge issue among his peers, inspiring his choice of charity.
Mr Johnson said: “I’ve never had the experience of going to therapy or needing medical treatment, but I have had periods where I have not taken care of my mental health as well as low self-esteem. I have been in positions where I haven’t been able to talk so I’m passionate about having an open dialogue.
“Among my age group stress is common as well as anxiety. It can be a pressurising time and there is a lot of uncertainty about the future – particularly with the pandemic.
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“I’m keen to raise awareness about the spectrum of mental health problems. Some people just seem to think there is only depression and that it just means being sad but there is a lot more to it than that and it can be paralysing.”
Mr Johnson, final year music student at Royal Holloway, University of London and classically trained pianist, also spoke of music’s ability to help with mental health problems.
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He said: “Music engages different parts of our brain and it can help us to express pain which we can’t communicate through words. It’s a medium where you don’t feel alone and a distraction which gets you thinking in a different way. When I’m stressed, I will play for 30 minutes which helps clears my mind.”
During the performance, Mr Johnson will take song requests as well as improvise and has plans to interview other musicians on Twitch.
He said: “Staying awake isn’t the problem it is staying engaged so I will have a cold shower every eight hours, stay hydrated and make sure I take regular breaks - being able to pace myself is important.”
To donate visit www.gofundme.com/f/jn2bw-joshua039s-campaign-for-mind-namh