Taman Sri Nibong RA Log

October 11, 2014

World Mental Health Day 2014

Filed under: from the editor — mollyosc @ 1:03 pm

MHD 2014 Poster_Page_1

World Mental Health Day 2014

Voices 4 Mental Health Interactive Concert & Walk

With Jana Stanfield (Platinum Award winning song writer) &
Nathen Aswell (The Hitman) Amazing International Musician & Vocalist

Date   : 18 October 2014

Venue: DISTED College,

Macalister Road, Penang

To encourage & empower the mentally ill by sharing stories & experiences to promote awareness
To speak up against prevalent stigma, ignorance & prejudice
To assert the need for better opportunities, facilities & support in the community


Musicians in Penang With a Mission

Nathen Aswell and Jana Stanfield have performed in 7 countries in the last 6 months, from Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Myanmar to the U.S. and Canada. Wherever they go, they use their music, humor, and stories to help audiences enjoy life and laugh together at the shared humor of being human. They’ll bring their playful combination of music, message, and mirth to Penang on Oct. 18 for Voices 4 Mental Health, which is an annual interactive mental health awareness & advocacy event held in conjunction with World Mental Health Day.

“Penang is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been, which is why we’re so glad to be coming back to be part of Voices 4 Mental Health,” says Nathen Aswell, also known as “The Hit Man” for his years with the popular Canadian band, “The Hitmen.” With soaring vocals that will remind you of Sting, Nathen Aswell plays his Conscious Pop tunes on a unique 8-string instrument called “The Stick”, which is like a combination of a bass and guitar.

This year’s event will take place at DISTED College, Macalister Road, Penang on October 18 from 1.30 pm – 6pm. Admission is free. Registration is at the door.

Nathen Aswell and Jana Stanfield will do a concert that day for attendees. Through fun and laughter, they’ll also help facilitate games and activities that will create a sense of shared community at the event. Both are inspired by the need to destigmatize mental health challenges.

The infectious pop music that is written and performed by this talented pair has been referred to as “psychotherapy you can dance to.” They infuse their lyrics with life lessons which are heartwarming, insightful and humorous.

“The death of a beloved humorist like Robin Williams reminds all of us about the need to come together to recognize that depression and other mental health challenges can happen to anyone,” says Jana Stanfield, a platinum songwriter whose lyrics of love and life have been heard on movies, radio, and television. “This event is a way to create human connections around our shared enjoyment of music and laughter, as a way of destigmatizing mental health challenges. Experts say that when women take their own lives it is often because they believe they can’t stand the pain, but when men do this, it is because they can’t stand the shame. If we can take away the stigma of talking about mental health challenges, then more people can reach out for help when they need it, and lives can be saved.”

“Suffering from bouts of depression doesn’t make a person defective, any more than being diabetic makes a person defective. All of us have challenges, and I’m no exception. Many people, like me, have suffered from this kind of darkness, or they have loved someone who has faced it. This event is a chance for the community to come together in support, saying, ‘We’re all in this together.’”

“One thing Jana and I love about the people of Penang is that they are friendly and helpful,” says Aswell, “Which is obvious when you see so many people turning out for an event that gives the community a way to connect and show solidarity for the cause of mental health awareness.”

The event is in its sixth year now. It is organised by the Mental Health Coalition Penang together with DISTED college with the assistance of many sponsors including the Penang state government.

Jana encourages people to share their own stories. “So that people don’t buy into the myth that we’re supposed to be perfect all the time. We all have challenges that are mental, physical, and sometimes both. Ideally, these conditions are temporary, or situational. It’s important that we stop thinking we need to hide that. We’re spiritual beings having a human experience, and that’s all part of being human.”



1.30 – 2.00
Mental Health Quiz

Laughter Yoga: No experience necessary. Just bring your willingness to laugh and make others laugh.

2.00 -3.00
Jana and Nathen Keynote Concert: “I Say Yes to Great Mental Health”

3.00 -4.00
Lend Your Voice, Blend Your Voice: Laugh together and learn about each other while creating banners with mental health messages.

People will be divided into groups for games facilitated from the stage by Jana and Nathen, and on the ground by student facilitators. After about 15 mins of games, they’ll create their banners, based on something that was revealed during the games…maybe something the group has in common…maybe something they want the world to know about mental health.

Each group will include a student facilitator and a designated mental health spokes person. They’ll be made up of participants at random, so there is more of a feeling of anonymity, and the games will make it feel safe to share. The ice breaker games are designed to make conversation easy, and will include a segment that helps people share about the experience they have, either personally, or through family and friends, about mental health challenges.

4.00 – 5.00
Nathen and Jana perform more music and host the “Let Your Voice Be Heard” Music Video Shoot: Each group will display their banner, one by one, along with saying one sentence that they want the world to know about mental health. This will be compiled for the “Let Your Voice Be Heard” music video. The idea here is for each group to be able to make a statement. It could be the same one that is on their banner.

5.00 -6.00
Walk, -DISTED College – Macalister Road, Jalan Utama, Residency Road, Macalister Road – DISTED College
Finale with prizes for quiz & information goody bags

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