Sheepdog drummer shares mental health message

Sam Corbett, drummer for The Sheepdogs is speaking out about his battle with mental health.

Sam Corbett opens up about his battle with anxiety

Sam Corbett hopes talking about his own battle with anxiety will encourage others dealing with mental health issues. (Britainy Robinson)

It was their big break but it also could have broke him. Back in 2011 things were flying a mile a minute for The Sheepdogs.

The Saskatoon band was the first unsigned musical act to grace the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. 
The Sheepdogs Rolling Stone cover that shot the band to stardom in 2011. (Rolling Stone / Associated Press)
 That victory meant international performances, screaming fans and tons of interviews. But for drummer Sam Corbett it also meant sleepless nights, irritability, and countless hours of worrying.

"Initially I just thought it was sort of stage fright or jitters," Corbett told CBC news. "But it started to become apparent to me that it was affecting me more than it was affecting anyone else in the band. It would affect me all day, all night, even after the performance."

Corbett says the anxiety impacted his quality of life so much that he considered quitting the band. He decided instead to consult a doctor who prescribed him medication. 

That was back in 2012 and Corbett says things are better with the help of medication and relaxation exercises.

"You have to figure out what works best for you." Corbett explains, "Cognitive changes, medication, therapy or a combination of all three, there's a lot of different options out there that can help."

Now that he's got a handle on his own anxiety, Corbett wants to share his experiences with others. He's one of the speakers at First Aid for Mental Health, a fundraiser for the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Corbett says, "If I can make one person feel as much better as I did, when I took action on it, then it'll be worth it for me."

First Aid for Mental Health is at the Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon Thursday.