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Get out the decks and hoon for mental health

June 10, 2020

Get out the decks and hoon for mental health

It's party time again, so influencers want to raise money for mental health. Image: Pixabay

A group of Facebook influencers have come up with a July gig in Auckland to raise money for a mental health organisation struggling with the Covid pandemic.

Four Facebook pages with between 14,000 – 160,000 followers each are uniting to organise a drum and bass gig for people itching for a night out.

Admin of Could Be Keen, Josh Umbers said what started out as an idea for the pages to “get behind the decks and have a hoon” has become an opportunity to give a boost to a worthy cause.

“Suicide is a big problem in New Zealand, and we want to do what we can to raise awareness on a problem that’s ravaging our country,” he said.

The gig will be held in Auckland next month and has already raised over $1000 for Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust.

Mr Umbers hopes they can sell all 350 tickets, which could raise upwards of $7000 for the trust.

“I think people are itching to go out and party and go to gigs. We've had close to three months off and people are itching to get out there, see their mates, see some live music, and just have a good time,” Mr Umbers said.

He said the cause is important to him as he knows what it is like to struggle with mental health.

“I know what it's like to go through a hard time, so I don't like seeing other people go through the same thing.

“I do what I can to raise awareness on the problem or get people to talk and make them feel good by making them laugh or whatever,” Mr Umbers said.

General manager of Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust Corinda Taylor said fundraisers are hugely appreciated.

They are feeling the blow of Covid-19 with workloads increasing and funding dwindling

“Our workload has just gone up astronomically. I was run off my feet last week and we only had four days in the week…It's just been massive,” she said.

She said they normally run an annual street appeal but does not believe it will be possible this year, putting the trust a few thousand dollars out of pocket.

The money raised by the gig in Auckland will go towards overhead costs, including training for their peer support workers according to Ms Taylor who works for the trust voluntarily.

She said the event organisers ensured her the gig will be run safely and said people will be partying regardless so it’s a good way to spread awareness.

“People are raving and partying regardless so just because you're partying and having a good time, it doesn’t mean you’re not effected by mental health issues,” said Ms Taylor.

She expects the number of people grappling with mental health issues to increase alongside an economic downturn.

Her message to those people is simple; reach out.

“Right now feels like not a great place to be in. But wait it out because tomorrow it may look totally different.

“The state that you're in won't last, it will get better and you must reach out. There are so many organisations waiting for their call, text or for them to read out,” Ms Taylor said.

Mental Health Foundation chief executive Shaun Robinson said in a statement last month that as the country enters a recovery, there is an opportunity now to keep building positive mental health, resilience and wellbeing together.

“Throughout lockdown we saw people doing incredible things that were good for our whānau, neighbours, communities and country – more kindness, more connection, more physical activity, and taking time to check in on each other’s mental health” he said.

WHERE TO GET HELP:

Call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor.

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE).

Youthline: 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat. Samaritans: 0800 726 666.

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