Words by Jon Garcia
In May of this year, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor launched The Taylor Foundation, a non-profit aimed at supporting and uplifting military veterans and emergency personnel living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Four months later, the Taylor Foundation is seeing real momentum.
Sitting down with Knotfest ahead of Slipknot’s headlining set at Louder Than Life in Louisville, Ky., Taylor spoke of the strides the foundation has already made in a short time.
“A lot of people have really come out of the woodwork to support us,” he said. “A lot of the groups that we’ve been dealing with have been so appreciative of the fact that — not only are we trying to raise money and get everything kind of going — but at the same time just bringing attention to the things that these groups have to deal with. The groups that are actually trying to do some good.”
The foundation partners with select non-profits in each tour city to provide meaningful and creative assistance to those affected by PTSD.
“We’re really trying to work with a lot of those groups to amplify it and make sure that, you know, people are not necessarily donating but at least aware that you can support those groups.”
At Louder Than Life, that group was Veteran’s Club, a Louisville-based organization that seeks not only to provide things like housing assistance and vocational training to the veteran and first responder community, but also to create a connection and community in order to help with healing and recovery.
Together, the groups had a booth at the music festival where fans could take pictures with Taylor, make a donation, and learn more about each of their causes in order to raise awareness on not just a local level, but a national one as well.
Misconceptions still abound
While there have been strides in addressing and talking about mental health disorders over the past several years, there is still a long way to go. Especially when it comes to PTSD.
“It’s one of those things that you don’t realize that people aren't really talking about it. Or they’re not aware of just how prevalent the issues are when it comes to PTSD in ex-military veterans, law enforcement, people who work in … the emergency services.
“It’s gotten so bad that you know, not only are they having to deal with it but their families are.”
According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, about six of every 10 men and five of every 10 women experience at least one trauma in their lives. Six percent of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives, which is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
“A lot of people, maybe of the older generation, just think that you should just suck it up and get on with it,” Taylor said. “But they don’t realize there’s a difference between dealing with certain strife that comes with real life, and then the real issues of dealing with people who have experienced trauma, witnessed trauma.
“It’s one of the reasons why people are talking more and more and more about the fact that had there been groups like these in effect back then, we wouldn’t have seen the divorce rates go up amongst those groups, the levels of alcoholism go up amongst those groups, suicides rates go up around those groups. Had there not been that stigma, maybe some of those people would still be with us today. I think that’s the biggest misconception that a lot of people need to realize.”
PTSD wasn’t officially recognized as a condition until the 1980s, often being referred to as “shell shock” or a range of other names. It wasn’t until after the Vietnam war, when soldiers returned home showing the impact of their traumatic experiences, that experts really started looking in to the diagnosis, according to The Recovery Village.
“They didn’t want to accept the fact that maybe there is something to be said about the fact that even people on the outside looking in could be affected by things like warfare and death, and just the whole fucking rainbow of trauma that comes with that kind of shit.”
How you can help
The Taylor Foundation hopes that it can amplify the message of the organizations they partner with. Beyond just raising money, Taylor wants people to at least be aware these groups exist so they can support them in whatever capacity they can.
In addition, Taylor has announced a Global Livestream of his performance at the London Palladium with special guests Cherry Bombs - 'Half Sold Out: CMFT at the Palladium' on Oct 17th that will serve as a benefit show for the Foundation. Full details below.
Those interested in learning more, donating or spreading the word can go to The Taylor Foundation’s website with the Giving Back Fund
Half Sold Out: CMFT at the Palladium Livestream
• Live: 9pm BST
• Rebroadcast #1: 9pm EDT
• Rebroadcast #2: 9pm PDT
• On Demand: Monday 17 October 11.30pm PDT - Wednesday 19 October 11.30pm PDT
Tickets are available to purchase now at driift.link/CoreyTaylor