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6th Annual Music for Mental Health Concert returns Sept. 8th at Siberia

NEW ORLEANS – On Friday, Sept. 8, four eclectic New Orleans’ musical acts come together for the 6th Annual Music for Mental Health Benefit Concert, presented by the Brett Thomas Doussan (BTD) Foundation The Preservation Hall Foundation.

This year’s concert features Charm Taylor, Marc Paradis (of Johnny Sketch & the Dirty Notes), Mikayla Braun, & SaxKixAve. Hosted by founder Kathryn Rose Wood, 2023’s iteration will see the artists trading stripped-down, song-and-storytelling performances together on-stage, for the duration of the show. Taking place at Siberia (2227 St. Claude Ave.), tickets are available at the door for a minimum donation of $10.00 per person. Doors are at 7 p.m., the show starts at 7:30 p.m. sharp, and is open to ages 21+.

Commemorating September’s National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month designation, past installments of the benefit concert have seen performers dig into personal experiences with mental illness, with curated songs related to their respective mental health journeys. With music serving as the main communication vehicle, the concert launched in 2017 to create a space for individuals who might not normally attend an explicitly-mental health based event, or feel comfortable verbalizing their respective mental health concerns. Bringing together an eclectic variety of performers to speak light to their mental health journeys, the concert has become an annual space for listeners to find solace in the music and stories, and connect with their community.

In this time of post-pandemic anxieties, inequities, and socioeconomic discord, the concert highlights an opportunity to bring discussion to localized needs around mental health matters.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), over 194,000 Louisiana-living adults reported inability to access mental health care, with 41.8% citing cost as the primary factor. Similarly, 62.3% of Louisiana teens experiencing depression did not receive mental health care in 2021; for teens without care, the high school drop-out rate was 2x higher than students without expressed mental health needs. In Louisiana, suicide continues to be the 14th leading cause of death in all individuals in 2021; and was the 3rd leading cause of death in ages 10 to 34, as reported by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

In an effort to support these care needs, the concert continues to shed light, and hope, through music, story-telling, as well as local non-profit mental health organizations on-hand providing community help resources to attendees. All concert proceeds are distributed directly to Louisiana-based mental health organizations, including NAMI New Orleans, AFSP Louisiana, the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic, Children’s Hospital, and more.

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