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ALEXANDRIA, VA  Mental Health America (MHA) was selected by the Hot Topic Foundation (HTF), the charitable arm of specialty retailer Hot Topic, as the sole beneficiary of the Mental Notes virtual concert on Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST. Tickets go on sale today at 3 p.m. EST/12 p.m. PST and will feature performances by Bishop Briggs, As It Is, Guardin and Black Veil Brides and other artists.

The concert, which coincides with World Mental Health Day, is part of an effort by HTF to call attention to—and provide more funding for— support available for millions of individuals struggling with their mental health during these stressful times.

“The pandemic, and everything that has followed, has had a significant impact on people’s mental health,” said Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of MHA. “The key to ensuring mental health is to understand the signs and take action early on to prevent a crisis. The Mental Notes concert will help get much needed mental health resources into the hands of people who find Hot Topic to be a safe space, and who may need mental health support. We are grateful to be a partner in this effort.”

MHA’s online mental health screening, mhascreening.org, has seen a drastic increase in use since the start of the pandemic. The per-day number of anxiety screenings completed in August was 535 percent higher than in January before coronavirus stress began. The per-day number of depression screens was 709 percent higher in August than in January.

“Over the decades we have seen a powerful connection between music and mental health, not just in our customers, but our own employees,” said Joe Emory, Director of Human Resources at HTF. “That connection became even more evident when we began the Hot Topic Foundation and started working with Little Kids Rock and Notes for Notes, and heard time and time again, ‘Music has saved my life’. We’re proud to partner with Mental Health America to use our platform to help destigmatize mental illness and further provide resources to those in need, when music alone isn’t enough.”

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of music in treating a variety of mental health issues, including depression and recovering from traumatic experiences. A 2014 study showed that music can serve as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or dysregulation.

“Hot Topic is often seen as haven for people to be themselves, and where we hope people can find hope and support through the provision of mental health resources and information,” says Emory. “Through fandom, music and entertainment, people build community which helps to reduce isolation.”

The Hot Topic website includes a page for customers with resources and information about mental health. A dedicated resources page for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities as well as LGBTQIA+ communities will go live on World Mental Health Day.

Tickets can be purchased at hottopic.veeps.com where the concert will also be viewed. People can also purchase a limited-edition Mental Notes concert t-shirt. All proceeds from the concert ticket and t-shirt sales will benefit MHA. Visit hottopic.com/mentalnotes for more information.

About Mental Health America

Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. MHA’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal. Learn more at mhanational.org.

About Hot Topic Foundation

The Hot Topic Foundation (HTF) has helped change lives since 2004 by increasing access to mental health programs and music education. HTF teams with non-profits -- like Mental Health America, Little Kids Rock and Notes for Notes – that provide these resources to those in need. HTF began with a focus on music and the arts; in 2019 mental health was added to its mission because Hot Topic believes mental health and music are inextricably linked. Since HTF’s beginning, it has given nearly $20 million to non-profits that support its mission.