Donegal singer Sinead Black is bringing a talented team of young people together for a concert to raise positive awareness of mental health.
‘Voices of Hope’ will see Sinead and seven young acts taking to the stage to raise money for the Raphoe Diocesan Pastoral Centre Children’s & Adolescent Counselling Services.
The 26-year-old Letterkenny artist, who has personally experienced the benefits of counselling, wants to help share the message of hope to other local young people.
Sinead told DW: “I took a bad bout of anxiety and depression in 2013. I didn’t know where to go. I tried HSE counselling before going private.
“This concert is a personal thing for me. I can really see and relate to the wonderful effects of counselling.”
Sinead openly shares her experience of good days, bad days, and panic attacks on her social media. She is doing well with counselling from Liam Cannon but says she still sees a stigma surrounding mental health in everyday life.
She said: “If you see someone like me out singing, people can think everything must be great. I want to get young people talking about mental health.
“I was the fixer of my family. Nothing was a bother to me, but when this happened it was hard to get my head around it.
“I thought to myself – there has to be something physically wrong in order to get help. I thought that way for two years. The power of the mind is amazing, in bad times.”
“Somebody explained mental health in a great way to me: your brain is a muscle, counselling is about strengthening it. It’s a good thing for us to help kids strengthen their minds to deal with the world,” Sinead said.
The Pastoral Centre in Letterkenny provides counselling from fully-qualified volunteers to adults and children at a reduced rate. In recent years, the centre is facing a rising demand for children and teenage services, with referrals coming in from schools, GPs, social workers, mental health services and the church.
‘Voices of Hope’ is an opportunity to support the centre’s mission to deliver counseling services in local schools during school hours. This is more convenient for students to access sessions and saves counsellors and parents having to drive appointments at night time.
“Young people are our future. It is our responsibility to give them every chance they deserve,” is Sinead’s key message from the fundraiser.
“I do so much charity work for other causes through my singing. I really want to break the stigma and music is the only way I know,” she adds.
‘Voices of Hope’ will be a feel-good night of country and pop music from talented young guest artists.
The line-up includes: The Ward Sisters, Ben Troy, Sinead Black (host), Patricia Maguire, Shannon McGinley, Chelsea Evans, David James and Joe Boyle.
Sinead hopes that local businesspeople and influencers will get involved and help spread the word about the concert. She also hopes other people can use their skills to raise money for the same cause.
Don’t miss Voices of Hope in the Radisson Blu Hotel Letterkenny, Tuesday 16th October, 8pm
Concert tickets are only €10 and available online here: www.eventbrite.ie/e/charity-concert-for-young-peoples-mental-health-services-donegal-tickets-50652897179
Or you can buy tickets in person from Sinead. To book, please message Sinead’s Facebook page here: @sineadblackmusic