Band The Hara rock mental health awareness: student interview

Band The Hara rock mental health awareness: student interview

Alternative Rock band The Hara visited Trafford College campuses on Friday 10th January to share an important message with students.

During high octane sets at Stretford and Altrincham campuses, musicians Zack Breen (guitar), Jack Kennedy (drums) and Josh Taylor (vocals) spoke about their experiences of bullying and mental health.

Lead singer Josh Taylor from Bolton said: “We chose to come to Trafford College to spread love and joy, and to talk about mental health.

“I think it’s hard for young people now. There are more issues now because of social media. There’s so much added pressure to be portrayed a certain way.

“I was bullied a little bit. It was part of school really. I’m not saying we were bullied, so you say, ‘we feel sorry for you’ or that kind of thing; people are not nice in life, in school, in college. We’re using the mental health message to say, it doesn’t matter what people think. At that time in school, I was scared of being myself.”

The trio, who have been hotly tipped by radio platform for new artists, BBC Music Introducing, were interviewed on camera by Level 3 TV and film students Morgan Brookes and Katie Cunneen, and snapped in action by Level 3 UAL photography learners.

Zack from Leyland said: “Body image, for example… if you look different, you do become a target. It’s more about the importance of being an individual, because we all seem to have the same issues of caring about what everyone thinks.”

Jack from Glossop said: “When I was in school I was surrounded by people and I was seen as this image I had created for myself, by doing stupid things, but it comes from the reaction from when I left that environment, that 90 per cent of the people that you were trying to impress, they went out of my life; you’ve got to be yourself.

Zack said: “Young people in this College, wherever you are, you need support around you; friends and family. In College you do have that pastoral support, you can and should use. Don’t be afraid to ask for support. Don’t suffer in silence.

As well as being allocated a pastoral tutor and receiving additional learning support when needed, students can access help online through a portal built into home screens and an app on mobile devices in College.

Photography student Sophie Hurst said: “I liked the performance, it was nice to be given the opportunity to photograph a band as it’s not easy to get things like that normally so for College to put something on like that does help build our portfolio and experience. I really liked how open they were about mental health and how it has affected them; it shows that you can deal with mental health issues and still accomplish what you want to.“

Photo credit: Level 3 UAL Photography student Sophie Hurst.