Goal to ease depression

Joel Day with sons Joel, 5, and Kai, 2 are doing their best to raise awareness about depression. PHOTO: JASON SAMMON   N37SB208A Tragic death has spurred the Hampton Rovers Amateur Football Club to band together away from the field to raise awareness of depression.

The club will host a benefit concert next month in support of one its long-serving members Joel Day, whose partner Jari died in January.

Jari, 31, was first treated for depression in November 2005 and has left behind the couple’s three young children: Brittany, 13, Joel, 5, and Kai, 2.

Club president Michael Fletcher said he began organising the April 14 benefit shortly after the tragic loss, to raise money for the family’s future.
”This club has a very wide reach,” he said.
”I played football with Joel since I was 17 years old and when I floated the idea with a few people, there was just a huge response.”

Musicians Nick Barker and Ned Murray-Whitehave agreed to play at the benefit, alongside local band DATZA.

Mr Day hopes the benefit will change the stigma once attached to depression, while also raise public awareness.
”Jari and other people might have felt more comfortable seeking help if they could discuss it with friends and family,” Mr Day  said.
”There is help, but it is hard to find.”

The national depression initiative Beyond Blue is also supporting the event.

Deputy chief executive Nicole Highet said it was important to shed light on mental health to break the stigma. ”This is a powerful way of putting the issue on the table and out in the open.”

The benefit concert is at Boss James Reserve, corner Bluff Rd and David St, Hampton, 7.30pm on Saturday, April 14. Tickets: $15.
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Matthew Burgess
Bayside Leader

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