Suicide First Aid training for rock bottom music industry








Suicide Training


Hundreds of musicians are to be offered free suicide first aid training, as part of ongoing support for the beleaguered industry – which has hit rock bottom during COVID-19.

Leading mental health music charity Listen Up Music has partnered with suicide prevention agency LivingWorks Australia and are set to roll out 200 online skills training courses over the coming months.

The move recognises the impact COVID-19 has had on music industry professionals, one of the first workforces to be hit by initial and ongoing pandemic restrictions to live performances.

Only last month, a report said that up to 50% of people working in music were set to leave due in the dire financial situation imposed by COVID-19.

“Musicians are continuing to struggle both physically and financially as the pandemic ramifications continue to put pressure on the beleaguered industry,” said Listen Up Music CEO, Ali Taylor.

“Thankfully, we are starting to see a relaxing of restrictions and, whilst we do not want to be alarming, we also want musicians to keep well and to be able to support each other as a community.

“That is why we have teamed up with LivingWorks Australia, who have kindly provided 200 free START licenses for us to provide to the community.

“The online training will ensure that music industry professionals can have the confidence and ability to reach into fellow professionals when they are vulnerable and may be thinking of suicide or other psychological distressing issues,” he said.

Much like CPR, START online provides the skills to spot the signs of suicide, directly ask the question if someone is thinking of suicide, keep them safe, and referring to an appropriate service.

However, if the person is not thinking of suicide, it also ensures a compassionate conversation has started and an opportunity to refer to other services, such as drug and alcohol, relationship, financial, or mental health related.

LivingWorks CEO Shayne Connell said: “The impacts of COVID-19 have left many of us feeling unsettled, uncertain and lonely, particularly those who have been living through restrictions, and musicians appear to be one of the most impacted workforces.

“Whilst these are associated risk factors for suicide, there is no current evidence that during this pandemic that there has been increasing suicide rates, including Australia, other than data from Japan early 2021 among young people.

“However, there is no room for complacency as we know from the research from traumatic events, such as natural disasters, it’s in the post-event period where we typically see the potential for an increase in suicidality.

“Hence the move to increase prevention efforts now and providing training as part of early intervention strategies, includes equipping communities with the skills to act on their gut feelings that close colleagues, friends, or relatives, may need immediate support.

This suicide first aid training is a way for musicians to do something practical to support vulnerable colleagues, keep them safe and connect them to care early.

We know asking someone about suicide is a conversation that can change a life and we need to complement essential conversation skills with building community capacity for suicide first aid” he added.

Musicians can register their interest in the training via this link

Training EOI

$10k donation towards work to support bushfire affected music communities

Through its music-focused events and education, Listen Up Music’s vision is to empower every music industry professional to develop and maintain positive mental health. They run events and services that build community, facilitate storytelling and promote positive mental health.

With that in mind, LivingWorks has also donated $10,000 towards work to support bushfire affected communities, linking up with Project Regeneration.

“We are still working through the details, but we aim to set up songwriting workshops and performances in three bushfire affected locations,” said Mr Taylor.

“It will team up local musicians with regional performers and will help use music to contextualise the traumatic events and help bring communities together via performances in the bushfire areas.”

Project Regeneration is funded through the money raising efforts of Magda Szubanski and Will Connelly, using PTSD art-health therapy in bushfire affected communities led by University of Canberra, with support of LivingWorks and The Phoenix Centre.

For more information on Listen Up Music’s events,

Picture: (left to right) Listen Up Music CEO/Co-founder Ali Taylor, LivingWorks Aus CEO Shayne Connell and Listen Up Music Chair/Co-founder Hank Paul.


Serenade The Stars Help To Prevent Suicide in Young People this Christmas

Music Video Review

Serenade The stars


Ft. Morrell, Kwakz, Kong Gonzalez

Whenever a track comes in my inbox that has something to do with preventing suicide; I LISTEN.

Especially this time of year, when so many are celebrating a supposedly joyful time of year, so many more are in the darkest place as Christmas time seems to magnify the loneliness and seclusion.

I know, from personal family experience how important it is to have a song that resonates with someone who is at the bottom of the pit. When a track is played and the words are heard, it not only gives someone hope, but it also makes them think; perhaps and hopefully delaying the feeling of wanting to end their world.

Serenade the Stars have just Released Reflections in aid of Papyrus (Prevention of Suicide in young people.) The track is a rock/indie/rap track and was written by guitarist Damian Carruthers who has direct experience with suicide after losing his best friend to suicide years ago.

The lyrics in Reflections are poignant and real. As the song opens from the chorus: “There’s A Light, that shines for you and I, reflections from a mirror, shattered by our broken lives, and all the little pieces, are locked away inside of me, and as I bring them back, they still cut me from inside”.

This is followed by the verses giving a glimmer of hope as rappers, ‘Morrell’, Kwakz and Kong Gonzalez speaks of hope and fear fading with vocals/rap clear and strong which then leads back into very strong and powerful choruses that’s also musically uplifting, resembling the feeling of hope as it builds and explodes into a powerful song.

The way in which Reflections is produced, sung and rapped, is very close to perfect for such an important topic. It is heartfelt and well written and needs to be heard.

The music video states statistics of suicide in young people in the UK in 2018 and cleverly shows young people walking with signs around their necks in common places for all to see. I found this rather upsetting to see the reaction of the general public and their lack of responses. Clearly, judging by the general reaction, there is still a fear and stigma related to suicide. While some might find this confronting; all anyone needs, is somebody to hear them, reach out to, be with and talk to. A person to take notice and ask how they are. I do wonder about the filming of this video and if this was filmed among everyday people or extra actors.

Did anyone take it upon themselves to make an effort in approaching one of the young people with a sign stating, “I’m going to end my life”.

If a track like this, can gain some attention and prevent the suicide of just one person; then it’s worth it.

Spread the word this Christmas of hope and let our young people know they are not alone.

Tracey gives 5 out of 5 stars.

5 Stars


PAPYRUS  HOPELINEUK: 0800 068 41 41


HEADSPACE Call 1800 650 890

KIDS HELP LINE Call 1800 55 1800

BEYOND BLUE Call 1300 22 4636

LIFELINE Australia  Call 13 11 44

LIFELINE New Zealand Call 0800 543 354


Call 1300 659 467



Serenade The Stars Help To Prevent Suicide in Young People this Christmas

Serenade The Stars Help To Prevent Suicide in Young People this Christmas