by Jimmy Maas
Today is officially “Hi, How Are You Day” in Austin and across Texas. As KUT’s Jimmy Maas reports, it’s a day to honor a long time Austinite and help raise mental health awareness. The day is inspired by the art of Daniel Johnston, an Austin singer-songwriter and visual artist whose own struggles with mental health are chronicled in documentaries and in his music. The Hi How Are You Project co-founder Tom Gimbel says Johnston’s iconic mural “Jeremiah the Innocent” has been an inspiration to so many to discuss the difficult topics within mental health.
And it all started with that frog and Daniel and it’s amazing if you listen to his lyrics and you look at his art what may appear to be naive, and may be simplistic, is actually incredibly deep, and often very profound.
The day will culminate with a sold-out show tonight at ACL Live that will include the Flaming Lips and Bob Schneider. It can be streamed online. Proceeds will go toward a public awareness campaign and mental health programs.
Actors, musicians, athletes, who are influencers and can reach young people with the message that it is okay to talk about what you’re going through. We also engage in peer to peer training programs in corporations, in schools, and within families to teach people how to have a mental health conversation.