This Saturday night at The Reverence, 7 bands will be playing a special show to raise awareness about mental health issues and depression and to raise funds for BeyondBlue. We had a quick chat to Lachlan from Heads of Charm, one of the organisers of Paint It Blue, about the event.

Tell us a bit about this benefit show. It’s a bit more than just music isn’t it.

The benefit show is far more than just about music. While music supplies the entertainment, it’s certainly not the central theme. The central theme is Mental Health. Everyone who has been involved with putting this event together has been somehow associated with a mental health issue. Where it be an impact on their own lives or witnessed the effect of how it’s impacted someone close to them. This show is to raise awareness. To make people aware that talking about Mental Health issues isn’t taboo anymore. Remove that stigma associated with Mental Health.

It also marks the end of Mental Health awareness week – as of recent, even as recent as the past 10 months, we’ve seen a significant increase in mental health cases. Cases that we can’t ignore anymore. Ian Thorpe, Charlotte Dawson, L’Wren Scott, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and the late Robin Williams. We’re exposed so much as to how mental health issues can conquer us that we fail to hear the stories or read about how most people actually conquer their mental health disorder.

This is our opportunity to progress on the issue by doing what we do best. Playing music.

How did it come together?
Our dear friend, Melissa Green (whose birthday is today) didn’t expect her 30th birthday to be like this. Earlier this year, Melissa, a much loved woman in our community unfortunately lost her father at the hands of depression. Someone overheard her say one day that she just didn’t feel right having a birthday this year. This was a spark for an entire community to get together and put together an event that not only commemorates her life, but allows her to move forward to ensure that everyone else understands what her father went through – that there are ways to overcome mental health disorders.

It’s been phenomenal, we all got together as a collaborative and put together this huge benefit night. The committee included musicians, sound engineers, bar managers, film makers, counsellors and even the resourcing planner & analyst for beyondblue (who just so happens to be a fan of ours, even prior to this event!).

Together, we created the PAINT IT BLUE initiative. Happy birthday, Melissa!

Mental health issues and depression touch almost everybody in some way or another, how have they affected you?
Mental health disorders effect 45% of people. That’s a significant number when you think about it. That means that for every 20 people you know, chances are that 9 of their lives will be directly impacted by a mental health disorder. Some of which are a little easier to conquer than others. Nonetheless, the first step is always the same: Talk to someone about it. It will guide you forward and most of the time you’ll feel a considerable weight lifted off your shoulders. Most of the time you’ll realise that the issue you’re talking about is quite common and not taboo anymore. That you shouldn’t be ashamed. That you’re not alone.

Is there a specific message you personally are hoping to get out by playing this show?

We’re not only driving free support services available (Lifeline, Headspace, beyondblue, Butterfly Foundation etc.), we’re encourage a community to listen. To look out for the common signs in friends and loved ones and ask the simple question of “are you ok?”

We’re hoping that sooner rather than later, we’ll start to feel more comfortable to say “no, I’m not ok” and just talk.

To help, you don’t need to be a counsellor. You don’t even need to give advice. Most people are just after someone they can talk to. Someone that will listen without judgement. Understanding the difference between empathy and sympathy. The difference between standing by someone vs standing above someone.

Dr Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work summed this up in one quote:

“One of the very common things we tend to do for people is to try and make things better.

If I shared something with you that’s very difficult, I’d rather you say “I don’t even know what to say right now, I’m just so glad you told me”

Because the truth is, rarely can a response make something better. What makes something better is connection.”

PAINT IT BLUE is tomorrow, Saturday the 11th of October at The Reverence Hotel in Footscray. It starts at 6pm so get there early!

PAINT IT BLUE at The Reverence – $10 entry

We Lost The Sea, Old Love, The Sinking Teeth, Have/Hold, Heads of Charm, Loose Tooth, Brittle Bones

More details here.

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