Supporting males’s psychological well being by way of charity and live performance

Supporting males’s psychological well being by way of charity and live performance

In November 2021, the Pensacola neighborhood misplaced proficient singer-songwriter Elijah Stepherson to suicide. Whereas his loss of life drastically impacted associates, family members, and the Gulf Coast music neighborhood, it additionally highlighted the truth that males’s psychological well being is usually neglected.

Within the wake of Stepherson’s tragic loss of life got here The Campfire Fund of Florida, a newly shaped Pensacola-based 501(c)3 non-profit that gives funding and psychological well being sources to males locally.

“We maintain occasions domestically to lift consciousness about males’s psychological well being points, and work to take away the stigma hooked up to males asking for assist and looking for counseling,” mentioned Brett Benton, vice chairman of The Campfire Fund of Florida. “These occasions enable us to unfold the phrase and lift cash.”


Throughout Stepherson’s celebration of life occasion, associates of the late musician recommended holding a big musical occasion the place the neighborhood might honor his reminiscence. The occasion remodeled from a celebration of life to a fundraiser, and organizers remodeled from a bunch of associates dealing with loss to a non-profit charity that goals to assist as many individuals as doable.

“It allowed The Campfire Fund to get our message out, letting the neighborhood know we exist and what we provide,” Benton mentioned. “Final 12 months, the day after the live performance, we had calls from individuals who wanted assist discovering and paying for remedy.”

“Most necessary of all, it lets folks know that there’s somebody who cares and is there to assist when they’re in want,” added Ryan Goldberg, president of the Campfire Fund of Florida.

This month will mark the second 12 months the group has held the Elijah Stepherson Males’s Well being Live performance to lift cash for males’s psychological well being sources in Northwest Florida. The profit live performance will characteristic music from Jessie Ritter, Allie Bryan, Joey Collins, Shannon Pierce, Nikki Forgione, Justin Colvard, Kyle Wilson, Justin Lee Hester, Ben Loftin, Jay Moody, Brett Benton, and The Victrolas.

“For us initially, it was only a option to keep in mind and honor Elijah,” mentioned Jim Hamilton, a member of The Victrolas and buddy of Stepherson’s. “It’s now an important occasion of the 12 months for us. There’s an important sense of affection and neighborhood that occurs at this occasion.”

Hamilton and others near Stepherson need their buddy to be remembered by way of optimistic motion. Organizers of the Campfire Fund of Florida imagine that males ought to by no means be afraid to ask for assist or entry to psychological well being companies.


Brett Benton and Ryan Goldberg exhibiting off their 501(c)3 paperwork

“I discover it extremely necessary to have one thing there to assist folks get to the place they will see a therapist to work by way of their issues,” Hamilton mentioned. “This group offers males an nameless manner of getting that assist, and I feel that’s necessary for our society.”

Whereas occasions like these let the group convey males’s psychological well being to the entrance of individuals’s minds, it additionally permits them to open a dialog about how psychological well being points have impacted the neighborhood. Because the group’s founding, over $30,000 have been raised in assist of males’s psychological well being sources all through the neighborhood.

Organizers of the live performance need attendees to not solely have enjoyable but it surely’s additionally to keep in mind that The Campfire Fund of Florida is there for them and people they love.

“Each cent goes to paying for psychological well being sources, and we’ve got an rising variety of folks using The Campfire Fund,” Goldberg mentioned. “Our good buddy Jim Hamilton may need mentioned it greatest, ‘That is an important factor we’ve ever executed, and I want like hell it by no means needed to occur.’”

“There are folks which are prepared that can assist you,” Hamilton added. “There are folks that care.”

The 2nd Annual Elijah Stepherson Males’s Well being Live performance can be held on April 30 from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Emerald Republic Brewing, situated at 1414 W Authorities St. in downtown Pensacola. In case you or somebody you realize wants assist facilitating or paying for remedy periods, go to The Campfire Fund of Florida’s web site for extra data. You can even donate to the group on-line.