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5th annual You Matter Festival raises mental health awareness

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Posted at 10:12 PM, Aug 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-06 23:32:45-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.  — You matter.

That's the message an Overland Park music festival communicated Saturday.

The You Matter Festival started as an idea by Will Gurley who was inspired after watching the Grammys and seeing Logic's performance of 1-800-273-8255, which at the time was the suicide prevention hotline.

"It just clicked in me that I needed to do something for our hurting community," Gurley said.

Gurley says he's struggled with depression and anxiety since middle school. At that time, he struggled to talk about his experience due to the stigma surrounding mental health.

"It felt wrong because if somebody breaks their arm, you say, 'Oh, I see you have your arm in a cast. What happened?' But if somebody is struggling from depression or anxiety, it was just silence," Gurley said.

Since the festival began five years ago, it has provided resources from Kansas City-area organizations.

Musician Max Indiveri hopes it helps those struggling feel seen and heard.

"You don't always have to put a happy face on," Indiveri said. "You're never a burden, and the people who are closest to you are going to want to hear what you're going through."

As for Gurley, his main goal is to let anyone struggling know they aren't alone.

"You matter, no matter what," Gurley said.