Warning: this story contains references to suicide.
A local group of young men that make pop music under their label Yuzzynet are finding a way to honour their late friend and help others along the way.
Cowichan resident and business owner Tristan Renaud explains:
“I started a business this year called Yuzzynet with my friend Chris Lanpson. It’s a brand that we release all of our music under and we produce and record and write all the music ourselves,” Renaud said. “We wrote this song at the end of June on the first anniversary of our friend’s suicide. As we were finishing the song and figuring out how we were going to release it, we were having a conversation about how we were going to honour Steven. That event led to the idea to partnering with the crisis centre for the release to hopefully make some real change and helpfully save some lives.”
Renaud and Lanpson worked with the label’s artist Rylis to create the track, titled ‘In My Head’.
“Rylis is the first artist that we brought in to produce and write with,” Renaud explained. “This song and video were made to honour Steven. Our plan with this release and fundraiser is to bring awareness and funding to the ongoing mental health crisis; specifically people at risk of suicide.”
Renaud said they chose BC Crisis Centre because of their 24/7 hotline and their mission to equip schools and communities with education and training to assist people at risk of suicide.
“They are a great group with big hearts,” said Jeffrey Preiss, director of Development Communications at Crisis Centre BC.
“After speaking with Jeffrey, we learned that since the beginning of the pandemic they’re experiencing on average 50 per cent more calls across the province,” Renaud said.
“What’s even more crazy about that number is since that the average phone call costs them $26.69 but they only receive $2.50 from government funding. That means their ability to answer those life saving calls mostly come directly from fundraisers. It’s frankly tragic.”
Each of those calls to the crisis centre could mean the difference between the life or death of whoever is calling.
“On a positive note they de-escalate 98 per cent of the calls they receive without the need of 911,” Renaud said.
The release day for ‘In My Head’ is Nov. 16 and it can be found on all streaming services, like Spotify, Apple, and on Rylis’s Youtube page, where listeners can also watch a music video.
‘In My Head’ was written by Riley Ingham (Rylis), Christofer Lampson (Young Negrensé), Tristan Renaud, produced by Renaud, mixed by Elijah Merrett-Hitch, and mastered by Colin Leonard.
Folks wanting to help raise some money for Crisis Centre BC can do so via a direct donation page at www.Yuzzy.net/inmyhead on or after Nov. 16
That page will also feature facts about the crisis centre. In addition, the group will also have merchandise available with 100 per cent of the profits going toward the Crisis Centre BC.
“This is something we are very passionate about and we really hope to make a difference,” Renaud said.
If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.
Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance use.