Riverina Tunes Into Mental Health Benefit Concert

Tue Sep 3, 2013

Local bands are tuning up for an afternoon of entertainment in Wagga to raise awareness of mental health.

Called ‘Original Bands Only’, the concert will see a number of local bands perform at Home Tavern on Sunday 15th September, from 2.00pm – 6.00pm.

The event will be headlined by Wagga band Utopia Broke. Supporting bands include 13 Wins, Keeping Autumn and Dave Biggin.

Guests are asked to make a gold coin donation upon entry. All proceeds will go to leading not-for-profit community-based mental health support provider RichmondPRA.

Utopia Broke songwriter and front-man Sean Reardon said there was a strong consensus amongst the bands that a concert to raise funds for mental health awareness was worthwhile.

“Just about everyone knows someone whose been directly or indirectly affected by mental illness,” Sean said.

“Mental health is an issue that’s particularly relevant in the Riverina. Even some of the band members know what it’s like to see loved ones suffer, which spurred us to put this gig on.

“We’re dealing with personal experiences that can be too painful to talk about, but we’re more than happy to step up and let our music do the talking.

“We’re asking people to come along and enjoy some great locally-grown original music while contributing to a good social cause.”

RichmondPRA Riverina Service Manager Lex Burgess said the local bands needed to be commended.

“We can’t thank the bands enough for what they’re doing,” Lex said.

“This isn’t just about raising money for a good cause - it’s about getting word out that lives can be turned around if people with signs and symptoms of mental illness reach out for help.

“One in five people will have a lived experience of mental illness at some stage in their lives, such as depression of bi-polar disorder.

“The key is ensuring that family, friends and the wider community recognise and understand the signs and symptoms and stand by those who need to go on a recovery journey.

“The signs and symptoms often include severe mood swings, a loss of interest in day-to-day activities and excessive alcohol consumption.

“A good first step is encouraging anyone with such signs and symptoms to talk to their GP.”

RichmondPRA is a not-for-profit organisation providing recovery focussed support programs, accommodation and hope for people with a lived experience of mental illness in New South Wales and Queensland. Advocating community-based assistance, it is a leading mental health support provider that has been in operation for more than 55 years.

EDITOR NOTE: Interviews and picture opportunities of bands practicing can be arranged upon request.

Sean Reardon (Utopia Broke)                                         0423 205 304
Lex Burgess (RichmondPRA, Wagga)                          0400 003 407
Matthew Watson (RichmondPRA Media Manager)     0417 691 884