John Brogden, Chairman of Lifeline, will speak at the inaugural ‘Back, White & Blues’ gala event to raise awareness and funds for people suffering mental illness.One in five Australians are affected by mental illness every year. It touches people of all ages and from all walks of life, and places enormous burden on individuals, families, workplaces and the health system.
Sydney local Pan Skoumbourdis, founder of Black White & Blues, is helping to reduce the impact of mental illness through the Black, White & Blues event to raise awareness and funds for Lifeline, the Black Dog Institute and beyondblue.
For Pan, depression has personal significance.
“As a teenager I experienced depression and self-harm and didn’t know how to talk about or deal with it. I found singing, song-writing and playing guitar was an outlet for my issues. As an adult I eventually got the support I needed and thankfully don’t suffer anymore”, Pan said.
But it was through the death of a friend from depression that Pan decided to create Black White & Blues.
“In Australia there are 7 deaths by suicide every day and it’s the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 44. It was difficult for me to believe at first but this is the reality. I believe we all have a part to play in reducing suicide and the stigma about mental illness”.
Black White & Blues aims to raise awareness about how to get support.
“I encourage people to find out what support is available and open up conversations with the people in their lives. There’s so much information and practical support these organisations provide to the community”.
Pan aims to raise $100,000 through ticket sales, business and community donations.
The inaugural Black, White & Blues dinner will be hosted by comedian and actor, Greg Fleet. The night showcases Australian soul, rhythm and blues talent, the Kate Lush Band.
Wayne Wigham, retired NRL player and speaker from the Black Dog Institute, will also share his personal story. There will be fundraising activities on the night including prize give-aways and an auction.
The Black, White & Blues gala event, 7pm Saturday 29th August 2015 at Le Montage, Lilyfield.
To support Pans efforts, people can buy tickets to the event atwww.blackwhiteandblues.com
Interviews with Pan Skoumbourdis and images available. Call 0406 656 303 or emaildonations@blackwhiteandblues.