Music heralds key to changing stigma of mental illness in Fremantle

From left: City of Fremantle youth project officer Christine George, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, musician Bernardine Grigson, Josh Cunniffe from YAWA and Megan Christophers from headspace.
From left: City of Fremantle youth project officer Christine George, Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt, musician Bernardine Grigson, Josh Cunniffe from YAWA and Megan Christophers from headspace.

BREAKING down the stigma surrounding mental health is the key goal behind this weekend’s Changing Your Tune event.

With close to 75 per cent of severe mental illness starting before the age of 24, mental health is a big issue among WA youth, and the stigma associated with it continues.

The City of Fremantle, Fremantle headspace and the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia (YACWA) have joined to hold the free event as part of Mental Health Week, complete with a line-up of WA musicians like the Love Junkies, Coin Banks, Morgan Bain and Paulie Page.

YACWA chief executive Craig Comrie said the event was developed to raise awareness about mental health in young people and to launch the new Music Feedback CD Volume 7.

“Music Feedback is a project that aims to break down stigma surrounding mental health in young people, using music to try get young people talking about mental health, because music talks about mental health, and so should everyone else,” he said.

“Any event that encourages young people to talk openly and honestly about mental health is important in addressing the stigma that often surrounds it.

“By creating opportunities for people to learn more, to know people and their stories about mental health, to talk openly of their own experience and to break down the labels that often go with mental illness, we go a long way to normalising it and making recovery more attainable.”

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said the event would include live music, live art, slacklining, bubble soccer and appearances from youth organisations with information about mental health for attendees.

Changing Your Tune will be held on October 4 from 11am to 3pm at the Esplanade Youth Plaza.