#Scott Stapp is out on the road for a sizzling summer of music as the headliner of the Make America Rock Again Tour. The string of dates has the iconic singer-songwriter whose anthems of life, faith, and facing life’s struggles with hope going literally cross-country. Scott Stapp is joined on the road by Trapt, Drowning Pool, and Sick Puppies, but keeping busy in rocking good company doesn't keep the reflective artist from feeling the losses in recent music news on a much more personal level than many. Just as he probes the battles of life through years of songs created with Creed and in his solo career, his own path in life has put him in very personal confrontations within the space between darkness and light.

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Scott Stapp never lost the courage to keep reaching for that light on “the other side” that he has so often explored in song. With the constant and caring support of family, and finding appropriate treatment regimens and lifestyle routines, the composer embraces his creative and personal life with new excitement and intensity, and even the joy of another baby on the way with wife, Jaclyn.

That blessing of new beginnings is just part of what can happen when battles of #Mental illness can be discussed and brought into the light. Scott Stapp is making a personal plea in an August 9 interview with the Longview News-Journal—one for “compassion” and leaving behind the judgment and stigma around the “serious disease.”

‘I was no different’

Scott Stapp confesses that “I wouldn't say I was close to Chester Bennington (Linkin Park vocalist) or Chris Cornell (Soundgarden vocalist)” but the man who was a contemporary in many ways to these lost far too soon held “a tremendous amount of respect” for both of them and admired their work.” He further elaborates that he “felt connected to what their struggles were because my struggles have been the same.”

Scott Stapp has demonstrated remarkable candor both creatively and personally as he has probed into his journey of coming to acceptance with bipolar disorder.

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He added another dimension to that openness with his work on “The Madness,” the sophomore album from Art of Anarchy released last March, with Stapp taking front man duties. The issues that became public from the singer himself 2014 were only part of the internal struggles within him. Even at the height of Creed’s reign over the charts, clinical depression stole any sense of peace and led to a years-long cycle of self-medication. “I was no different” Scott attests, talking about the too-easy cover and defense that drugs and alcohol can provide to those suffering from mental illness.

Transformation over tragedy

Scott Stapp hears, reads, and knows the stories of lives transformed by his music daily, and those journeys to recovery and wholeness go even deeper now. His and his family’s honesty and faith in living and facing the future has inspired others to find reserves of inner strength, and move forward.

Scott Stapp has found strength in living and serving outside of himself, such as through his commitment and partnership with ChildFund International, whose long-term support of children and families in need goes beyond basics of food, shelter, water, and education, sometimes even to family placement for those lacking any family connection or means.

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His own With Arms Wide Open Foundation is another outreach that has provided over $1 million to charitable outreaches serving children and families in need.

Scott Stapp knows that the first step to hope, wellness, and restored life is open and honest talk, free of judgmental perceptions and false information. “The mental illness conversation is something that we all need to get more knowledgeable about,” with “more compassion, and less judgment,” as the focus, according to the songwriter. He and Jaclyn have become advocates in the cause of mental illness, leaning into the effort personally. He reiterates that mental illness “is not in their control,” referring to those in its grips. “It's like cancer,” he says. “It’s a serious disease” with “need to treat it as such,” so that no more tragic losses happen. His mission is to make sensitivity and willingness to hear and help take the place of mockery, whether the affected person is among “celebrities, friends, or family.”

Scott Stapp’s music is therapy to millions, and he is dedicated to delivering his songs to as many open ears and hearts as possible. “I love to play shows wherever people want to see me,” he beams. It doesn't matter that the venue is “big arenas, stadiums, or smaller venues.” Scott Stapp pours out the same passionate performance at every show, exuberant in sharing the message of reclaimed life by his presence and his prolific catalog. #Scott Stapp mental illness advocate