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Local teen starts music festival to help those struggling with mental health

You Matter Festival
Posted at 5:56 AM, Aug 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-05 08:01:38-04

LEAWOOD, Kan. — A recent high school graduate is making sure teens like himself know it's okay to not be okay and that many people struggle when it comes to their mental health.

He is making mental health the key conversation starter at his music festival this weekend.

It's called the "You Matter Festival," which is in its fourth year.

The festival features local bands and singers, and in between sets, teens give their testimonies about their mental health journies.

Gurley was inspired to do something in his community through his own story.

“I struggle a lot with depression and anxiety throughout middle school and high school," Gurley said.

He saw rapper Logic perform his song "1-800-273-8255," which is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, on the Grammys. That sparked the idea to bring his passions for music and mental health together.

This year, the festival will be streamed online.

“Now since we are online, we have a section on our website that is dedicated to mental health resources, and in the live show, we have speakers sharing their stories, their testimonies if you will through their mental health journey," Gurley said.

He hopes the power of music and testimonies gives teens the courage to ask for help and remember they are not alone.

“Just seems like a great match to make because music brings people together like nothing else does and that's what our goal is to do. Just to spread that message to as many people as we can," Gurley said.

The You Matter Festival will be streamed at 6 p.m. on Friday on the You Matter Festival Website.