Beyondblue Fundraiser

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Beyondblue Fundraiser

In some way or another we’ve all been affected by depression or anxiety, whether it’s directly to us or through someone we know. Jason Hoekstra is someone who’s taken that experience and turned it into something good. After losing several friends to suicide, he’s decided to create a fundraiser event at the Lord Nelson to raise funds and awareness for beyondblue.
Hi Jason, thanks for chatting to Forte magazine, how are you and what are you up to at the moment? 
Hey really well thanks, I’ve been pretty busy lately. Between work and organising the event – it’s been flat out.
You’ll be having a beyondblue fundraiser coming up soon, what made you want to run the event? 
A few things really. I’ve lost four friends in my life through suicide which has had a pretty big effect on me. I had one mate a few years ago who I hadn’t spoken to or seen for a week or so. One day I had such an overwhelming sense that I needed to message or call him. I felt like I should check in and see how he was doing. I didn’t. I was too “busy” with things in my own life. That night he committed suicide. From then I always wanted to make sure I was there as much as possible for people. Raising awareness for what beyondblue do and money for donation was a great way to help out. With all the work that beyondblue do, helping so many struggling with depression and anxiety was a pretty clear choice to focus on for that.
Have you had much to do with beyondblue before? 
Honestly not much at all. So the last few months of organising the event has been a real eye opener to how much they do.
Why are they such an important charity to support? 
Beyondblue do such an amazing job raising awareness for depression and anxiety. It’s pretty sad that it’s something we can all relate to – maybe you’ve gone through a rough stage in life or seen a family member or a friend suffer from depression or anxiety. Even with it being so common it’s still so unspoken about, almost like it’s something you should feel ashamed about. It’s really not the case at all though. For the people that do feel ashamed, they more than likely feel alone with no one to talk to. A lot people have the right support network to talk to when things get hard but sadly some don’t. Beyondblue have great resources to figure out what you need to help get life back on track. That’s why I think it’s such an amazing charity because it’s there when someone may feel like no one else is.
Do you think there’s enough awareness and help out there for those with depression/anxiety etc?
I think it is getting a lot better than it has been. Until people see depression not just as something you should “get over” then there is work to be done. But things are changing which is the main thing.
Is depression/anxiety something you’ve had to experience in your life at all?
Yeah I have. Like I said we all have ups and downs in life. I’m just lucky that I have so many amazing and supportive people in my life that if things get hard I can turn to.
In terms of the musicians performing at the event, what made you choose the ones you did?
All the boys – Andy, Dave, Levi and Zane – are incredibly talented, so it was an easy choice. Everyone knows them, so not only do people know they’re in for a great night of music but you put those names on a line up and you know you’re going to get people through the doors.
It’s often said that music can be a great release for those struggling with depression and anxiety, was that the idea behind having a music gig to support the charity?
Well I’ve known for ages that I’ve wanted to organise something but had no idea what. Then I started to play a few gigs around Geelong, met some awesome people along the way and just knew a gig was what I wanted to organise. It was just a simple choice, I had the connections with other musos and venues. So it all fell into place pretty easy.
How much are you hoping will be raised on the day?
Would love to raise $10,000. So many people have jumped on board with the event it’s amazing to see. A lot of people have donated time, money or services that without the event wouldn’t be running. So I have no doubt we will reach that figure!
Thanks again for the chat, any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers?
Just that there is help out there. Places like beyondblue, Lifeline (13 11 14) and headspace are a great place to start if you’re struggling and you need some guidance for what to do if you’re not in the best place mentally. No one really knows what someone else is really going through at any time – what they reflect on the outside may not be what’s really really going on underneath. So some supportive words, a smile or just a, ‘How are you going?’ can really go a long way.
Tickets available from:
When & Where: Lord Nelson, Geelong – July 18