Image from www.mysteriousbarricades.org
Image from www.mysteriousbarricades.org

The Mysterious Barricades concert took place at the UBCO Theatre from 6p.m. to 7p.m. September 14. The concert became part of 16-hour live translation across Canada from St. John’s to Victoria. The broadcast was from sunrise to sunset.

According to the music director, Rosemary Thomson, the concert is “part of a bigger conversation” about mental health issues. It should help society “move past lingering stigma about speaking about mental health”. Elizabeth Turnbull created Mysterious Barricades after she lost her husband due to suicide.

The musicians performed The Okanagan Song, classical Baroque and Romantic era pieces, tangos, and beatbox. In the interview, Thomson characterized the music as “open healing, soothing and beautiful”.

Invited speakers were Well-being Specialist at UBCO, Amanda Swoboda, and Philanthropist, Thomas Budd. Swoboda referenced the well-being resources available at UBCO including appointments with counselors and self-help resources.

Budd began with facts that illuminate the importance of discussion around mental health. According to statistics, one person commits suicide every 40 seconds. Budd also talked about about the attunement theory which suggests that intergenerational trauma increases the risk of depression.

After the official part of the concert the audience had a chance to ask questions. Budd elaborated on research into alternative medicine conducted at UBCO which looks into how the plant ayahuasca might “rewire brain to deal with trauma”. Together with counselling, Budd noted it might help people cope with mental health problems. Meanwhile, Swoboda talked about about the importance of empowering people to deal with life challenges. The speakers emphasized the huge role that community plays in prevention; every individual should be attentive to others and encourage help-seeking.

The concert is held annually with free entrance. Everyone is welcome to come in 2020.