In 2015, Roger Benedict, Principal Viola with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, brought together members of the SSO and Australian Chamber Orchestra for a fundraising concert marking World Suicide Prevention Day. The event, titled Concert for Life, was spurred on by personal experience. Having lost his godson, Alex, to suicide, Benedict began to read into it and was appalled by the statistics. Suicide remains the leading cause of death for Australians aged between 15 and 44, accounting for twice the number of deaths as road accidents. Deaths by suicide have reached a 10-year peak, equating to more than eight deaths by suicide in Australia each day. And for every death by suicide, it is estimated that as many as 30 people attempt to end their lives. This research proved galvanising, with the proceeds of Benedict’s concert going to Suicide Prevention Australia and Lifeline Australia.

Roger Benedict. Photo supplied

The violist says he was floored by the response. “I was really touched by how many people came to me, musicians that I’ve known for years and years, that had all these stories about suicide in their families. One person had never actually spoken to...

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