A West Perth actor, playwright and musician has pledged to donate half the profits of her Perth Fringe World show, Audiotherapy, to Youth Focus to help provide more counselling and mental health support for young people.
Sun-Mi Clyburn, 28, who has lived with chronic depression for most of her adult life, said she was acutely aware of the personal and financial hurdles young people faced in accessing adequate, effective and ongoing treatment.
Through local theatre company, Fairly Random Inc, Clyburn has teamed with Rockingham singer-songwriter Melyssa Devenny, who was recently diagnosed with bipolar after years of misdiagnosis. Using storytelling and music, Audiotherapy is a largely a personal account of Clyburn’s experience of depression, recovery and relapse – and the difference a true friend can make to the journey.
“Mental health is an important subject to most people who have been actively involved in our company Fairly Random Inc over the years and many of us have struggled personally with mental illness,” Clyburn said.
“There is a great need for resources, treatment and mental health support that makes real and tangible differences to young people’s lives rather than just ‘awareness raising campaigns’.
“We wanted to support an organisation that provides practical and sustainable support and have chosen Youth Focus as a beneficiary of our performances because we believe they make a huge impact supporting young people through their mental health issues.”
Youth Focus Chief Executive Officer Fiona Kalaf said Youth Focus supporters were invaluable in helping the organisation continue its important work to prevent youth suicide.
Ms Kalaf said suicide was the most preventable cause of death in young people and the figures were unacceptably high. Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians, with latest statistics showing 54 young people aged between 15 and 24 took their own lives in Western Australia in 2016.
For every suicide, another 20 people attempt to take their own lives.
“We value greatly community members like Sun-Mi and Melyssa who selflessly give up their time and energy to fundraise to help benefit the lives of young people in our community,” Ms Kalaf said.
“It is largely due to the generosity of individuals and companies that we are able to provide young people with critical counselling services as well as suicide prevention education in schools.
“Without this kindness, we would not be able to continue to support and care for some of Perth’s most vulnerable young people.”
Each year, Youth Focus supports around 3000 young people through free, unlimited counselling services and outreach programs in schools.
Audiotherapy runs from February 2 to February 6 at The Loungeroom at The Moon in Northbridge as part of Perth Fringe World 2018 Festival.
If you or someone you know needs urgent support please contact the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467, the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.