Mac’s Bar benefit promotes mental health awareness

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Alex Marx & Miles Hoy with a guest at Mac’s Bar.

Four Michigan State University students hosted the second annual concert Music For Minds to raise money for mental health awareness. The event was organized by Tommy Stefani, Alex Marx, Halle Mohr, and Miles Hoy at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on March 16.

The motive of the event was to shed light on the stigma surrounding mental health. In 2017, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention reported an estimate of 1.4 million suicide attempts. Stefani said founders of Music for Minds have lost friends to suicide.

Kaishi Chhabra

Shankho Bhattacharjee sold T-shirts with a member from NAMI

“In today’s society,” said Stefani, “we often forget that the mind requires the same attention and care as a broken bone. We believe that music could be used as a tool to unite the Lansing community and work to break the stigma against receiving treatment for mental health.”

More than 300 attended the event. Funds were raised through ticket sales, sales of donated art, and merchandise such as sweatshirts and hoodies. Seven bands performed live, including Stefani and Hoy’s band, Stoop Major.

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Shalvi Save at Music for Mind concert on March 16.

“Last year, we had no idea what we were doing,” said Marx, an advertising student. “We raised about $1,500 for the Justice in Mental Health Organization. This year, we had much more experience and were prepared to double the raising.”

The proceeds were donated to Lansing’s National Alliance on Mental Illness, which is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families who are affected by mental illness.

“We had a goal of $3,000 for NAMI,” said Shankho Bhattacharjee, a volunteer at the concert. “Through ticket sales and online donations, and merchandise sales, we were able to get approximately $4,000, which is roughly 50 percent more than what we needed.”

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Miles and Sophie with Claire and Alex at Mac’s Bar.

 Bhattacharjee invited engineering student Shalvi Save, who paid for admission and bought a painting.

“I really liked the atmosphere at Mac’s Bar,” said Save, a junior. “They had a lot of different bands playing music all night. Mental health awareness is really important, and I was glad I could help out in some way.”

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