COLUMBIA, S.C. – Jim “Soni” Sonefeld met with Virtual Youth Experience students on Friday to discuss mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sonefeld, drummer for Hootie and the Blowfish, faced challenges with anxiety and depression, including substance abuse, after finding fame in the early 1990s.
“It’s incredibly important to acknowledge those anxieties and those fears,” said Sonefeld. “For a long time I stuffed them under my bed … I used unhealthy things to make myself feel better. It’s so important to acknowledge them by talking to your parents or a phycologists. We have these anxieties and we have to get them out.”
Sonefeld also spoke to his hope for the future during this unprecedented time.
“One of the biggest challenges in life is figuring out we have options and being willing to use them,” said Sonefeld. “It’s tough because you have dreams, whether you’re 16 or 66, you have dreams and it’s only your responsibility to adapt. It’s an inside job.”
You can view highlights from Sonefeld’s dialogue here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSowuAHAHFM&feature=youtu.be
A total of 79 students—all rising high school juniors or seniors—are participating in the Virtual Youth Experience. These students represent 19 electric cooperatives across South Carolina.