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4th Annual *Virtual* Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert
September 26 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM CDTFree
On Saturday, September 26th, six New Orleans-based artists will align for the 4th Annual Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert, presented by the Brett Thomas Doussan (BTD) Foundation. This year’s concert features Leyla McCalla, Pell, People Museum’s Claire Givens & Jeremy Phipps, and Tank & the Bangas’ Tank Ball + special guest, and is hosted by founder Kathryn Rose Wood. Similar to past years, this year’s concert will feature the artists engaging in intimate, stripped-down song-and-storytelling performances, but with a new twist: through livestream, direct to the viewer’s home. The event will go live beginning at 7:30pm (CST) until 9:00pm (CST) via the BTD Foundation’s Facebook Live stream. Viewers can tune in at www.facebook.com/btdfoundation and, though free, may choose to donate to the Foundation through advertised electronic mediums of PayPal, and Venmo.
Founded in commemoration of September’s National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month designation, past installments of the benefit have seen performers dig into personal experiences with mental illness, and sharing music related to their respective mental well-being journeys. With music at the helm of the concert’s communication, the concert was launched in 2017 to create a space for individuals who might not normally want to attend an explicitly-mental health based event, such as an awareness walk, or feel comfortable verbalizing their respective mental health concerns. By bringing together a diverse variety of performers, all successful in their own rights, to speak light to the oft-taboo topic of mental health, the concert has become an annual space for listeners to find solace in the artists’ music and stories, and connect with their community through the shared medium of music. Unlike previous years, given the state of the global pandemic, this year’s event will take place entirely online via livestream, creating an even-deeper sense of audience intimacy than previous in-person events.
In this time of heightened anxiety, personal and professional uncertainties, intensifying socioeconomic discord between those with and those without, and general concern for present well-being, the concert comes at a time when national mental health data indicates a growing need for mental health supports. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the NAMI helpline, a call-in service to connect information seekers to mental health resources, rose 65% between March and June of 2020. The U.S. Census Bureau 2020 findings indicate that one-third of Americans are experiencing signs of clinical anxiety and depression, up from one-quarter of Americans expressing signs of the same issues during the 2013-2014 survey. Moreover, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) early review of suicide statistics in 2020 reported an anticipated minimum 48,344 individuals completing a suicide attempt this year, compared with 47,000 suicide completions in 2019.
With such alarming statistics behind what was a previously declining rate of reports in mental health crises, the partners and artists for this year’s Music for Mental Health Benefit are eager to continue shedding light, acceptance, and hope to all who listen-in. All donations from the 4th annual benefit will be distributed directly back to Louisiana-based mental health institutions, including NAMI New Orleans, AFSP Louisiana, the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic, Children’s Hospital, and more.
For more information, visit https://btdfoundation.org/