A SELF-TAUGHT classical guitarist who is profoundly deaf will be performing across Perth to raise money for Lifeline as part of a “gruelling” three-year national tour.
Murray Mandel entered his 12th month of the tour by playing his first WA and 143rd national performance at Westfield Whitford City, bringing his fundraising tally to more than $20,000.
The former microbiologist from Sydney is self-funding the trip and travels around Australia in his camper van, performing in shopping centres and collecting donations from passers-by.
Mr Mandel, who is almost 100 per cent deaf, donates every dollar raised in each city to that state or territory Lifeline branch.
Although the former tai chi instructor has never needed the services provided by Lifeline, he said the tour was about making the public aware the service is there if needed.
“It’s a gruelling tour but a real privilege,” Mr Mandel said.
“As we are all aware, there are so many Australians going through very deep personal crisis, so I would like to remind Australians to speak out or phone Lifeline if needed.
“I have had 35 individuals, separately in different shopping complexes, approach me and express their personal problems.
“I had them read the facts about Lifeline on one of my two display boards and pleaded with them to phone Lifeline.”
With the school year now under way and having read several articles about students being bullied, the 64-year-old wanted to further spread his message to “fellow Australians” of all ages.
Mr Mandel said school students, primary and secondary, and young adults needed to be strong, ignore the bullies and tell a trusted family member or teacher.
“Speak out to your close ones and you’ll have the support from them, by telling them you will feel strong,” he said.
“Speak out to Lifeline, it’s there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Lifeline will do their utmost to assist and clarify the best possible solutions for you.
“It is the build up of inner strength over a period of time that will help enormously for the rest of your life.”
Mr Mandel plans to stay in WA for about two months, performing in Fremantle, Albany and Bunbury after staying in Perth to perform at several shopping centres including Vicinity shopping complexes.
Anyone needing help should call Lifeline on 13 11 14.