Music executive to address mental health
Music executive Shanti Das is to visit Bermuda to highlight her mental health awareness drive Silence the Shame.
Ms Das, who has been at the forefront of the American music industry for more than 20 years, was invited to the island by local group Savvy Entertainment.
She will take part in a panel discussion at the Bermuda National Gallery on Friday from 6pm.
She said: “I hope to spark an international conversation that will lead to increased awareness and funding to support those living with mental health conditions.”
Ms Das created Silence the Shame, a programme to encourage discussion about mental health disorders, after she suffered from depression for a number of years and felt the impact mental illness had on close friends and family members.
Danilee Trott, chief operating officer at Savvy Entertainment, said: “September is Suicide Awareness Month and we felt it fitting to round out the month with this worldwide awareness initiative. We are pleased to bring Shanti Das to Bermuda so that we can share in the Silence the Shame initiative.”
Preston Swan, vice-president of quality and risk management at Bermuda Hospitals Board, which has partnered with Savvy Entertainment, added: “The general public tend not to realise that mental illness affects a significant number of people in the community, many of whom are able to learn to cope and manage their condition.
“An understanding society, where people are caring and supportive of those with mental illness creates a healthy environment for the community at large.
“At Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute we encourage dialogue and efforts that foster this attitude. So we are happy to take part in the Shame the Silence panel discussion here at home.”
A Bermuda Mental Health Foundation spokesman said: “The foundation salutes Savvy Entertainment for recognising the continued need for dialogue around the topics of stigma against those with mental illness.
“We look forward to working with Savvy Entertainment and the Silence the Shame team and we hope that the public will come out and support this initiative.”
Panellists for the discussion at the BNG include Ms Das, Vaughn Gray assistant director of counselling service at Morehouse University School of Medicine, Khaalida Forbes founder and CEO of Metamorphosis Enterprises, Larry Trott founder and CEO of Sankofa Wellness Centre, Cathy Sousa counsellor and member of Bermuda Mental Health Foundation and Winston Rogers BHB clinical manager of community and rehabilitation services at MWI.
Savvy Entertainment will also host a Silence the Shame proclamation on the City Hall steps on Friday at 12.30pm.
While Shanti Das is on the island, Savvy Entertainment will host Savvy Sessions, a platform for artists to showcase their talent in front of a small audience and music industry professionals from around the world.
A handful of local performers will perform for Ms Das and Sony songwriter Anthony Blakey. The pair will also give advice about their craft.
Anthony Blakey, Savvy Entertainment CEO, said: “We are absolutely ecstatic to bring Savvy Sessions to Bermuda. “We truly believe that Bermuda has a number of undiscovered, talented individuals and are elated to be able to provide a platform for them to showcase their skills.”
Savvy Sessions will take place on Saturday at the BNG from 6pm to 8pm. Tickets are available at www.ptix.bm.
For more information, visit silencetheshame.com or savvy-ent.com.
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