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GODSMACK’s SULLY ERNA Thanks LADY GAGA For Inspiring Launch Of THE SCARS FOUNDATION


In a new interview with Katie Daryl of AXS TV‘s “Now Listen”, GODSMACK frontman Sully Erna spoke about the inspiration for the 2019 launch of a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness surrounding mental health issues.

The mission of The Scars Foundation, according to its web site, is to provide resources and tools to educate and empower people around the world who struggle with mental health. Its partners include the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention and MusiCares, an American music industry organization that provides aid to musicians in financial and medical need.

“The whole thing started for me several years ago,” Sully said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “I actually had a moment in my life where I was dating [pop singer] Lady Gaga for a minute. But it’s because of her that, really, [the GODSMACK] song [‘Under Your Scars’] was formed. And that song became the nucleus of birthing The Scars Foundation non-profit organization that we’ve done.

“Sometimes as you get to learn people, you trigger little things inside of ourselves that we either are insecure about or that we’re embarrassed about or feeling vulnerable about,” Sully continued. “And I remember after this kind of happened and there was this little conversation that went kind of sideways. It made me start thinking, like, wow, I wonder how many people actually do that, where we hide these imperfections, we hide these things that maybe we’re not ready to expose publicly. And what it does is puts a lot of us in a depressive state of mind sometimes, or at least some of us. I’m not saying her or me, but I do know that there’s a lot of people out there that when they start to see these, what we call scars, whether they’re emotional scars or physical scars, these traumas in our life, it can really spiral us out sometimes and make us feel insecure and imperfect. But to me, those imperfections are exactly what makes us unique and perfect. And I think those are the times where we need to wear these things loudly and proudly and share our stories with the rest of the world, because that’s what inspires other people to come forward and share their stories. And that’s what we found has been the most successful in helping people heal through The Scars Foundation, because we deal with multiple categories, from severe depression to suicide prevention, addiction, bullying, PTSD. And it’s been some of the most gratifying work I’ve ever done in my life, honestly, to see people turn their lives around that know there’s an outlet in the community now that they can communicate through and share these kind of stories to inspire others.”

Erna added: “I really do thank [Lady Gaga] for that in that way, because we’ve been able to remain friends and everything’s good there, but it was just a small situation that kind of happened that triggered this whole thing and where my strength was. And from growing up in the streets of Lawrence [Massachusetts] and going through the childhood I had, I realized this is where I can give back, this is where my strength is, because this is the kind of life I lived, of bullying and addiction and the streets and all those kind of things that I think created my own scars that I’ve worked through.”

When the formation of The Scars Foundation was first announced five years ago, Sully said in a press release: “Scars come in all forms. They are physical and emotional. They’re traumatizing and make us fear what people may think of us. But we are all imperfect in some way. That’s what makes us perfect and unique. Everyone has something that makes him or her insecure or embarrassed. But instead of hiding them or internalizing them, own them and show them off to the world. Let them empower you so you can be a voice for everyone who can’t be. If we all wear our scars loudly and proudly, others will follow.”

In a video that was posted on The Scars Foundation‘s web site, Erna said that he was inspired to establish The Scars Foundation in response to the rise in suicides, bullying, addiction, and abuse, as well the suicide of “a dear friend” who was suffering depression.

Erna previously detailed the tragedy that inspired him to found The Scars Foundation, and how his own perspective on mental health has evolved over the years. He told Guitar World in part: “I discovered the healing power of music in was the late ’80s, when a friend of mine named Dave hung himself in the basement of his home after threatening to do it many times. I think when people hear it so much, they start thinking, ‘He’s just venting.’ And then one day he actually does it. We realized then that he had been crying out for help and we didn’t know how to help him because we were so young ourselves, in our late teens or early 20s.

“We don’t know that people are depressed at times. I’ve lost multiple people over the years to this kind of thing, whether it was addiction or depression or whatever. So the first thing, as I started experiencing this stuff, was realizing I had to talk about it. I had to tell people, ‘Look, I’m not feeling good. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m worried.’ That leads to information, which leads to tools that can help.

“I still struggle at times — but I have more wisdom, a bigger toolbox to dig into when these moments happen. My awareness and education have been a lifetime of work, but the alternative to that is sitting in the dark and feeling pain, and that’s certainly no way to live. So I choose to take each day as it comes, and if it’s not a good day, I process it with the tools I have and try to get to the next day.”





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