OLDSMAR, Florida. — Johnny Crowder, 30, has a personal connection to music.
“I feel like it’s always there for me and there’s always a song to complement how I feel, and I can’t think of many other things like that,” Crowder said. . “My guitar doesn’t judge me.”
What do you want to know
- Johnny Crowder, 30, founded Cope Notes, a company that provides mental health support through daily text messages
- Crowder says life experience inspired the idea
- Recently published research by University of South Florida Assistant Professor Dr. Kristin Kosyluk found that Cope Notes is effective in helping others
Crowder plays music personally at home, then takes his vocals on the road with his band, Prison.
“A lot of our music is about mental health, recovery, suicide awareness and even sexual consent, sobriety and loss.”
Johnny shares his lived experience with the public through his music and his messages on stage, including when he was convinced that suicide was a solution.
“Most of the time, when I was very convinced that suicide was going to be a good solution to what I was going through, looking back, I realized that I associated death with rest and that I really wanted rest. , I wanted a break from feeling like a failure, from feeling unloved, from feeling like life wouldn’t get better. I just wanted a break,” Johnny shared.
Crowder’s post is also being shared from his home office, where he works for a company he founded.
“We use daily text messages to improve mental and emotional health,” Johnny explained.
The Oldsmar native who studied psychology is working on an intervention he founded called Cope Notes.
“We share psychological facts, we share journaling prompts, exercises, so it’s like actionable health information,” Crowder said.
Crowder says life experience inspired the idea.
“I had been living with really debilitating disorders for a long time, so depression, anxiety, very severe OCD, schizophrenia, PTSD, all different diagnoses piled on top of each other,” Crowder explained.
He said he needed support to help bridge the gaps between therapy sessions.
“Even though I had a great therapy session, I was like sent back into the world,” he said.
Recently published research by University of South Florida Assistant Professor Dr. Kristin Kosyluk found that Cope Notes is also effective in helping others.
“Having a simple intervention that you don’t have to think about that potentially brings mental health benefits was really important to people,” said Kosyluk, who works in the Department of Law and Policy at the USF mental health. , and is also director of the Stigma Action Research Lab.
“Before using love notes after using love notes for a month and then even two months later, people with severe depression or anxiety experienced a reduction in symptoms.”
Research also found that another benefit of Cope Notes was the normalization of mental illness.
“It could be that Cope Notes is a first step in reducing stigma among users, so that if they were previously reluctant to seek treatment from a licensed mental health professional, after using Cope Notes for a period of , they might be more willing to do so. ”, explained Kosyluk.
Crowder, a peer-certified recovery specialist, hopes the research will help convince critics that the technology can help.
“Now when these governments or school districts say, ‘Well, where is the real research? “Now we can point to the study,” Crowder said. “The first thing you think about is how many other people are going to be affected by this.”
Prison plays in Orlando on October 22. Find additional information here.
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