Singer in perfect harmony with cause
The 10th annual Men in Black Ball is on Saturday, June 3 and the Western Suburbs Weekly has followed founder Barbara Mcnaught’s journey raising money for men’s mental health.
WHEN Men in Black Ball founder Barbara Mcnaught approached singer Paula Parore to perform at the 5th annual event, she did not realise how poignant the cause was for her.
“When I met Paula, I had no idea how close to her heart men’s mental health was,” Ms Mcnaught said.
“She was singing from the bottom of her heart and she helped people in many ways.”
Ms Parore, a former contestant on The Voice, told the Western Suburbs Weekly at the Hyatt in May 2012 that she had seen the effects of self-harm and teenage depression through her three daughters and family members.
In 2012, former ABC sports presenter Glenn Mitchell talked about how close he came to ending his life.
Ms Mcnaught said the 5th annual event was “beautiful and so powerful”.
“Glenn Mitchell’s story is very moving because he’s a media person and everything on the outside looks perfect,” she said.
“He turned things around and got his life back.”
Ms Mcnaught said that when she started the event 10 years ago, suicide was not reported in the media.
“The whole snowball of events started when Charmaine Dragun took her life,” she said.
“The media couldn’t write about it in 2007 and I wanted to remove the stigma attached to suicide.
“Within six months, three of my friends aged between 22 and 67 had taken their lives and left female partners behind.
“They said to me, ‘If he just talked to us, we would know what was going on’.
“Things have changed enormously over the past 10 years.
“The awareness of mental health and speaking out is huge.
“But men are still three times more likely to take their life than women.”
Money raised at the past nine Men in Black Balls have gone to beyondblue, Lifeline WA, the Men’s Advisory Network and Momentum Forum Australia’s awareness programs.
Singer Paula Parore will be performing at this year’s ball.