MentalMusic helps teenagers talk about mental health

Brisbane 4000
A Brisbane high school student has created a radio program to help his friends open up and talk more about their mental health.Jordan O’dell-Fontana along with a group of year nine students from Brisbane State High School launched the program MentalMusic.The team wanted to create a platform where young people could tune in and feel included, while also listening to music produced by their peers.The project, which started as an English assignment in social entrepreneurship, grew quickly into a weekly podcast.”We take music and stories from teenagers and combine it with expert advice into a 30-minute podcast that we release weekly,” Jordan said.”It’s a music-based podcast that caters for 14 to 19-year-olds and looks at teenage mental health issues.”
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Hear the first episode of MentalMusic
Jordan said he wanted to get his fellow peers involved in the project to help them talk about anxiety and mental health.”I chose mental health as it was an issue that myself and my friends had experience with and it’s really important that we as a society talk about it more.”More than 100 listeners tuned into the first episode that was released last week hosted by students Gordon Loughlin and Grace Pitch.Gordon said being teenagers themselves, talking to teenagers, allowed the group to explain things in a way their audience would understand.”It’s a great way to vent about what we have to say, to an audience we get,” he said.”When they have similar problems to us they can relate to us as well.”Using music to help battle anxietyJordan said music had helped him deal with his own anxiety in the school yard.The program focused on music composed and uploaded by other students.”For many, music is a great outlet to write and produce music and helps with their own mental health,” he said.”We want to celebrate and show that as we’re trying really hard to show a teenage perspective and having music can be a great help.”
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Pitching the idea to investors To get the idea off the ground, the group pitched the concept to a room full of Queensland investors at Brisbane incubator lab Little Tokyo Two.”While it was quite nerve-racking to pitch it to investors, we had to pitch it at school in a smaller competition so I had done it a couple of times before,” Jordan said.The MentalMusic team recorded much of the program at the incubator’s recording studios in Brisbane’s CBD.Jordan said he hoped the program would continue to grow as the team aimed to release a new episode each week.”I don’t have huge expectations with what might happen with it, I just want to create something that helps others.”
ABC Radio Brisbane


Jessica Hinchliffe


February 15, 2017 12:33:55

Grace Pitch, Gordon Loughlin and Jordan O’dell-Fontana at the Little Tokyo Two recording studios. (Supplied: MentalMusic)

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