Fareham dad-of-two to put on music event in Portsmouth brewery to start mental health conversation

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MUSIC, beer and a chance to chat about mental health are the centre of a new event designed to help people talk about how they are feeling.

Ian Hurst from Fareham started We Are Hummingbird Health after leaving his corporate insurance job in London last year when he broke down in tears. 

Ian Hurst from Fareham

Ian Hurst from Fareham

After being sent on a mental health first aid course Ian decided to start up his own business and, along with friends John Logue, Karl Draper-Firth and Ben Haird, the group are putting on their first music event.

Dad-of-two Ian said: ‘People have been using the power of music to express their mental health for a long time and without realising they are even doing it.

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‘My own way through depression has been to talk about it – and the more I talked, the more I learned about help that was available.

‘Sometimes though, asking for help is the last thing you feel you can do, and not everyone knows how to respond or even recognise when someone is in crisis.’

The music event will take place on Saturday at Staggeringly Good Brewery in Portsmouth and feature four artists and a DJ set.

Each artist will do a Q&A session to talk about what their songs mean to them and how it helps them to express themselves.

Ian said: ‘This is the first event of many and we have some big acts lined up for next year. We just hope it starts a conversation and helps people to talk about how they are feeling.’

Karl and John create weekly playlists on Spotify that feature 12 songs to mark the 12 men who die by suicide every day, according to Samaritans.

SEE ALSO: Portsmouth mum learns to swim to help battle with postnatal depression

Karl said: ‘Music is a powerful way to tackle the sense of isolation that mental health problems create. The playlists are so intimate. All the songs mean something personal, they’ve been a positive vibe and helped other people get through bad times.

‘And they say, hey, we understand what you’re feeling – we get it, you’re not alone.’

Tickets are £10 and can be purchased from book.events/hummingbird.

Doors open at 7.30pm and the first act begins at 8pm. Hot food will be available.