Colne pals' gig amps up mental health mission

ALL HAIL HYENA! is championing Psyched to raise awareness of mental illness. (s)
ALL HAIL HYENA! is championing Psyched to raise awareness of mental illness. (s)

Three Colne pals are "turning up the volume on mental health" with a music event spurred on by a friend's suicide.

Will Smith, Nicole Forrest and Pete Compo are hosting Psyched on Saturday to break the silence surrounding mental illness and raise much-needed funds for the Samaritans.

The trio hope to encourage people to speak up about their struggles while also helping friends and relatives to better identify and understand mental illness.

"Five months ago Nicole and I lost one of our best mates," said Will (24).

"We felt we had to do something to address the stigma surrounding mental illness."

Championing the cause by playing from noon to midnight are bands: The Folkestra; J-Bear and The Giants; ALL HAIL HYENA!; Lee Southall (The Coral); Walter Mitty's Head; Fruitless Forest; Meg Grooters; Blind J-Bear Johnson & Meg Grooters; and Familiar Strangers.

Also Ringing the Alarm to warn against stigma - with a takeover from midnight - are DJs LunaTix, Mr Organised, Tony Starks, Nicky TalentMusic, Nicholas Trad and Kyle Kerr, and Compo.

"The line-up is amazing and we're lucky to have such great acts who are kind enough to jump on board," said Will.

"We're offering every genre, as mental health doesn't discriminate and can affect anyone.

"But as well as the music and a raffle, we'll also have a Q & A panel from 6 - 7pm with medical professionals and a representative of the Samaritans to hold a guided debate.

"Everyone can get something different from the event but for me it's about learning how to identify mental illness in others and how to comfort them in the right way.

"I have friends who are still struggling and I want to know what I can do to help them."

The event will run from noon to 3am at The Venue, 105 Albert Road, Colne, and entry is by a minimum of £5 donation on the door. All proceeds will go to the Samaritans.