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.

Western Suburbs Weekly - - From The Archives - By DENISE S CAHILL

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.

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