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Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit Launches Innovative Way to Fundraise for Mental Health

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Michael Angelakos of the band Passion Pit raises money all of the time, at least that’s what he says of being a performer nowadays. Between touring, merchandise and albums, Angelakos is always raising money for his art. Now, instead of making money to create more music, the singer wants to use his songs to fundraise for mental health.

• What is Bipolar disorder?

In a talk, last Thursday at Mount Sinai’s Friedman Brain Institute in New York City, Angelakos, who lives with bipolar disorder, explained how he plans to use his musical talents and newly launched company, The Wishart Group, to fundraise for mental health initiatives.

“Feeling better means the science needs to be there,” Angelakos told The Mighty. “People need to see how that works, and it starts with science… and it instantly yields a need to raise money for clinical, and then that instantly yields a need to raise money for advocacy groups.”

To raise money for science, Angelakos is making his latest album, “Tremendous Sea of Love,” a test case for The Wishart Group’s first initiative. While The Wishart Group plans to launch and house a number of nonprofit and for-profit organizations, its first priority is building a nonprofit to work with and teach artists how to donate their intellectual property and revenue streams to initiatives and groups in need of funding. All royalties from “Tremendous Sea of Love,” which was digitally released on July 28, will go to the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at Broad Institute.

This isn’t the first time Angelakos has publicly advocated for mental health. In April, he live-streamed himself getting transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which he uses in addition to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) to treat his bipolar disorder. The video was taken down shortly after it was posted to Facebook, as TMS is not FDA-approved for bipolar disorder. 

“The whole point is like, everyone says, ‘Oh, I don’t want to show people what I do, I don’t want to talk about therapy.’ If we don’t talk about it, it’s quite literally why no one understands what we’re talking about,” Angelakos said in his video. “So, I don’t have anything to hide. I think this is an amazing treatment.”

In addition to donating the album’s proceeds, Angelakos dedicated it to “the people that spend their lives saving [his] life,” as well as those who work in the mental health community.

“I believe in the protection of advocates and first and foremost those around people with mental health issues,” Angelakos said. “We need to build systems that protect scientists, protect clinicians and protect advocates.”

Originally published: August 4, 2017
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