Watch: New Lipswich Project uses music to raise mental health awareness
- Credit: JERMAINE BERNARD
A new initiative, the Lipswich Project, is using music to break down barriers and raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.
Founder Pierre Rollins said: “I have reached out to a lot of different people and the reaction has been overwhelming.
“Quite a lot of people I don’t know have messaged us with their stories about mental health, and I am getting back to all of them.”
Mr Rollins had the idea after a family tragedy. His cousin’s daughter, Kia Russell, 19, dide by suicide last year, together with her two-year-old son, Kamari. He wanted to do something in their memory, to help people facing mental health problems and help prevent suicide.
The Ipswich-based community group is using striking black-and-white photographs showing people with their lips sealed to help get its message across.
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The motto behind the images, created by photographer Jermaine Bernard, is: “Don’t speak about it, be about it.” But Mr Rollins said: “We do need to speak about it but I’m more about action. I think action speaks louder than words.”
The Lipswich Project has joined forces with Ipswich-based recording studio Radical Lounge, and they are creating an inspiring album featuring a wide range of local artists and including some songs about mental health issues.
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“There will be all kinds of different music, including some uplifting songs,” Mr Rollins said.
MORE: ‘I felt so alone’ - mum speaks outCurtis Blanc of Radical Lounge said that, as soon as he heard about the project, he wanted to help.
“A client of mine mentioned it to me and suggested I should get involved,” he said. “After speaking to Pierre, I was more than happy to make our resources available to the project.
“I myself and family members have been affected by mental health challenges, so it touched me and I thought it was definitely something I wanted to get behind.”
Among the musicians taking part is singer-songwriter Jade Mayjean, who appeared on hit TV talent series The Voice.
The album, due for release in October, will be just the start, with more activities planned going forward.
MORE: Ways to help your child cope with back-to-school anxietyThe project is working closely with mental health charity Suffolk Mind and also hopes to work with other organisations in the future.
To find out more and get involved, search for The Lipswich Project on Facebook and thelipswichproject on Instagram.
• If issues in this story have affected you and you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple & Android.