A Mittagong woman will groove away the blues for the Black Dog Institute later this month.
Highlands Health Club owner Genenne Turner will host a variety show fundraiser at Bowral High School on Saturday, August 26.
One in five Australians are affected by mental illness every year, with depression being the most common.
It touches people of all ages and from all walks of life and places an enormous burden on individuals, families, workplaces and the health system.
According to Ms Turner the Black Dog Institute has a special significance.
“My passion for raising funds and awareness for the Black Dog Institute stems from my own experience with losing my only brother to suicide 19 years ago,” she said.
“The pain and anguish I felt when I heard the news devastated me to the point that I never really dealt with it properly because I couldn’t face the fact that I would never see, speak or be annoyed by him ever again, it left a space in my heart that will never be whole again.”
Ms Turner said she is still grieving the loss of her brother.
“I am slowly but surely healing with the help of my family who I am so blessed to have in my life,” she said.
The black dog has also touched Ms Turner’s husband.
“Even though he was going through his own battle with depression and anxiety, he hung in there with me and got help for himself which is aiding him to work through those overwhelming emotions,” she said.
Ms Turner said she decided to raise awareness about depression and the Black Dog Institute to remove the stigma of mental illness and to allow people to feel more comfortable when asking for help.
“If we can save just one person from thinking that there is no way back from the overwhelming feelings of hopelessness that lead to suicide, and help the Black Dog Institute to get out into the community and educate people on the effects that mental Health, then it is all well worth it,” she said.
Tickets for the Groove Away the Blues fundraiser are on sale now Highlands Health Club.
Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the night.
Adults tickets will be $25, children under 16 will be $15, family tickets will be $60 and children under 5 will be free.
The show will feature a range of local talent including singers, dancers, Mittagong public school choir, gymnasts, bands, the magic jester and more.
The fundraiser will be hosted by Award-winning Sydney Beat-Boxer Bernie Van Tiel.
The night will also include a raffle and lucky door prize.
If you can’t attend, you can still donate to the Black Dog Institute at www.teamblackdog.gofundraise.com.au/page/chaseawaythebluesfundraiser.
If you are struggling with depression contact lifeline at 13 11 14.