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Lily Cornell Silver's 'Mind Wide Open' is a new project with a mission is to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. In the series, she interviews celebs, health professionals and friends. (Image: Lily Cornell Silver)<br><p></p>

Lily Cornell Silver's 'Mind Wide Open' is helping people talk about mental health

Let's face it. For most people, these are some very challenging times. Since the health crisis hit the Seattle area in March, Refined has been bringing you information to educate, encourage - and hopefully inspire you. That includes advice on staying positive with Tips from a Life Coach on Dealing with these Difficult Days, and ideas of how to help kids navigate learning with 0 to Homeschool Real Quick.

Mental health was a struggle for many folks even in 'The Before Times'. Now, it's more important than ever to have access to information and community. That was part of the reason Seattle native Lily Cornell Silver started her IGTV show 'Mind Wide Open'. Lily is the daughter of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell (who passed away in 2017) and she's staunch advocate for mental health issues.

Seattle Refined: Lily Cornell Silver, thank you so much for chatting with us today.
Lily Cornell Silver: Of course, thank you so much for having me.

A lot of people know you through your Dad’s work - Chris Cornell of Soundgarden, beloved all over the world, especially treasured here in Seattle. Reportedly he suffered from some depression and some addiction. With so many people dealing with some of the same issues, why don’t we talk about it more?
A lot of the time, it's not something that is pretty, and it can’t be easily categorized or easily fixed. So there can be a tendency to pretend that it's not real, pretend that it’s not happening. But it absolutely is so that’s part of my mission is wanting to dissolve that stigma.

You’re actually doing great things with it [your mission] - tell us about 'Mind Wide Open'?
'Mind Wide Open' is my mental health focused interview series on IGTV, soon to be on YouTube and available as a podcast as well. The series was born from feeling really bad. I came up with the idea in the middle of quarantine, middle of the pandemic and was finding myself very very isolated. I think most people were. I was struggling to find centralized mental health resources. Struggling with my depression, struggling with my anxiety, and was looking to create a community and also somewhere where I can find information.I feel like I have created that for myself, and I hope other people benefit from that as well.

Can you tell us about some of the guests you’ve had on your first episodes?
My first guest was Laura Lipsky, who’s the founder of the Trauma Stewardship Institute here in Seattle, she is amazing. I had my friend Sir Carter, who was the first person I had who was not a mental health expert. But gay, young black man from Olympia - who spoke to - he’s a Tik Tok star - spoke to his experiences in mental health. Guns and Roses bassist Duff McKagan, talking about his experience with addiction and mental health. So it expands in a very broad spectrum of people - but I’m excited about that.

You are a young person - how old are you?
I’m 20.

You are so mature and such a great interviewer. So you see 'Mind Wide Open' as for young people, or is it sort of for everybody?
It is absolutely for everybody - everybody struggles with mental health or loves someone that struggles with mental health.

What do you think your dad would say if he could see what you’re doing right now, with your project?
I think he’d be proud. Something that he always said to me - whatever it was, whether it was wanting to pursue music or wanting to pursue dog walking - 'Whatever you do, do it will your whole heart and do it because you love to do it. Don’t do it for any reason besides the pure passion, cause that’s the only way to ultimately be successful'.