WE ARE ALL HERE
A chat with
This week we caught up with the ‘We Are All Here’ Hip Hop fundraiser event organiser Hannah Currie. Talking about a cause she is most passionate about and the action Hannah is taking to spread awareness.
Hannah Currie the co-founder of ‘MILK’ the live music and events organisation has spent years of her earnings and time learning how to operate cameras and edit footage to purse documentary filmmaking as a full time career as well as spending most of her time between Glasgow and London making films, DJing and hosting events. Equipped with a long list of skills and experience in the industry, hannah is putting together an event and documentary with the aim to spread awareness of the importance of Mental Health.
Hannah - ‘The documentary is a response to the young male mental health crisis in Scotland, based around the story of Glasgow rapper Lumo (AKA Calum/Moshen Barnes). He lost his life to suicide last September when he was only 21 years old and his story is all too common - Our suicide rates have risen in Scotland for the first time in six years and i think a lot of people are questioning why that is happening. The hip hop scene in particular has been shaken by Lumo’s death and as a result they’ve come together in their determination to end mental health stigma, and the event is representative of that. It’s a way of saying, we all miss you, and we’re all going to do what we can to make sure this doesn’t happen to anybody else. It’s something very powerful that i want to capture for the documentary. I’ll be using funds from the night to finish the film and distribute it as widely as possible to get the message out there.’
Tell us what inspired you to support the cause by holding an event and creating a documentary?
I was incredibly moved by the response to Lumo's death, but I was also just heartbroken and frustrated that another young life had been lost to depression, which I truly believe can happen to anyone at anytime. That's the terrifying thing about it. Suicide is a massive killer of young people in the UK and I feel strongly that we must actively create change. We can't accept it. My outlet is film and music so I'm using what I know to try to raise awareness; of course there are other ways, even just little things like making sure you look out for your friends and family.
Why do you think there is so much stigma attached towards dealing with mental health in 2018 and how can we tackle it?
I think the attitude in western society of 'more, bigger, better' definitely plays a part - this idea that we all need to excel and reach for the top and anything other than that is not good enough. It causes people to put too much pressure on themselves and to feel trapped when things are not going well - especially if it looks like everybody else is doing just fine. If we were all more honest with ourselves and others about the ebb and flow that is life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's shit, and sometimes it's really shit and we need extra help to cope - then we'd realise just how normal and universal this is and we'd develop strategies to get through it, rather than trying to hide anxiety/depression and hoping it will go away.
There are also big things that could help like putting mental health high on the education agenda (I remember being heavily warned about drugs and STIs in school, but no one said anything about depression!) - plus better access to counselling, better training and understanding amongst medical professionals, etc. And then there are the little things - like talking more to each other.
What is your ideal end goal for the event and documentary?
I wanted to approach the topic of mental health in a way that (I hope) can speak to some of the young people who are suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts. Lumo was actually very passionate about mental health awareness and even wrote a spoken word piece for See Me Scotland, so he was using his talents to raise awareness. But the fact he succumbed to suicide just shows how dangerous a threat it is, and that none of us are really 'safe' from this - so we need to be aware, be vigilant, and keep trying to make a positive difference in any way we know how.
If someone wanted to find out more information on mental health or who to talk to about it, what would you recommend to do?
I'd highly recommend opening up and telling someone - a friend, a family member, a doctor. Often once you open up you find other people with shared experiences; sometimes you find people don't understand, but that's where the internet can be helpful to find like minded stories. There are loads of blogs on the internet that help to identify what you are feeling and which show (just by the sheer volume of them) that you are not alone. If you feel suicidal and need to speak with someone urgently call the Samaritans on 116 123 - they're open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also text 07725 90 90 90 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, do you have a message for anyone that might be currently struggling with mental health issues?
You are not alone, you are worthy of your place in this world, and suicide is not the answer. On repeat. The idea that the world might be better without you in it is the illness talking - it can seem like an escape when you are exhausted and tired of fighting depression. But in fact it just leaves devastation behind and everybody who knows you would have loved that chance to have saved you. So talk to them, give them the chance.
Also, understand that mental health issues can be cyclical so you might come through a really bad spell, then suddenly it floors you again when you thought you were getting better. You will get stronger each time you come through it, and it's worth fighting on.
The ‘We Are All Here’ Hip Hop fundraiser will be held on Thursday the 3rd of May at The Classic Grand in glasgow city centre. The night will feature Scottish Hip Hop's finest acts unite to fight mental health stigma.
In an unprecedented grudge battle, Loki (tHE bEiNg MC's, Glasgow) will go head to head with Oddacity (1250TV, Edinburgh) to settle the score on a year's worth of dissing. Witness Loki's return to the battle rap ring as Oddacity calls out Scotland's most prominent Scottish scribbler for his first EVER battle.
Alongside performances from a bunch of talented artists, Fakie Apparels own sponsors A-Macc, Subz and Toni Smoke will be there on the night in memory of their sadly departed friend and brother Lumo (AKA Calum/Moshen Barnes) This is a cause close to all of our hearts so join us in helping raise awareness of the importance of mental health.
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