One-of-a Kind Free Benefit Concert Will Stream Live from Los Angeles
Via the ‘We Shine Together’ Website on Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 PM PDT/9:00 PM EDT and Will be Hosted by Zane Lowe
LOS ANGELES – MAY 24, 2021 – In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and to help raise funds for increasingly vital mental health resources, UCLA Health and AEG, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company, are proud to announce “We Shine Together,” a virtual mental health awareness concert featuring John Legend, Black Pumas and Joy Oladokun. The free benefit concert, produced by AEG Studios, will stream live from Los Angeles for music fans around the world on Thursday, May 27 at 6:00 PM PDT/9:00 PM EDT via the “We Shine Together” website. The program will feature nearly three hours of musical performances curated exclusively for the concert while initiating a dialogue around the importance of mental health awareness and key resources available to the public during our extraordinarily challenging times.
Hosted by Zane Lowe, global music curator, acclaimed radio host and pop music’s “unofficial therapist” according to The New York Times, the virtual event will celebrate the strides being taken toward better education and access to treatment for depression and other mental health concerns, while delivering a one-of-a-kind live entertainment experience to fans from the comfort of their homes. All proceeds from contributions made during the concert will go directly toward the charitable “We Shine Together” Mental Health Support Fund, created specifically to help support and expand UCLA Health’s life-saving mental health services during a time when the Los Angeles community needs it most.
“Music is a universal language and through music we can share feelings and experiences that unite us, and express emotions that may be challenging to recognize or articulate. UCLA Health is proud to help make this concert a reality, and we’re honored that proceeds will help support and protect the mental health of those in our communities who otherwise might not have access to these services,” said Johnese Spisso, RN, MPA, president of UCLA Health, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System and associate vice chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences.
Mental Health Awareness Month is especially significant this year as the world continues to address both the psychological and emotional fallout of the global COVID-19 pandemic. According to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the number of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased along with the percentage of individuals reporting unmet mental health care needs. Los Angeles residents have been hard hit with additional challenges including the high cost of living, high rates of unemployment, and uncertainty surrounding the disruption of the local economy and live sports and entertainment industry. Unlike those in other parts of the country, Angelenos not only rely on the entertainment and sports industry for stress relief and enjoyment, but many also work in these industries and depend on them for their livelihoods. For more than 60 years, UCLA Health has provided the best health care to meet the needs of L.A. residents.
In addition to special musical performances by John Legend, Black Pumas and Joy Oladokun, the virtual event will offer exclusive conversations with the artists talking about their unique experiences dealing with mental health, emotional well-being and maintenance, and life in 2021 and beyond. As millions of people navigate the challenges of life amid the pandemic, viewers will be reminded that they are not alone and will gain valuable insights from UCLA Health experts on specific support services, stress management tips and more.
“Being vulnerable about mental health is very important to me,” Lowe said. “I am looking forward to speaking with John Legend and Dr. Bath of UCLA Health and continuing to shine light on how instrumental taking care of our mindset is to our overall quality of life.” Eraka Bath, MD, a specialist in adult, child, adolescent and forensic psychiatry, and Rhonda Sena, PhD, also a UCLA Health specialist in child and adult psychiatry, will moderate the discussions with the artists.
While the concert is free and open to the public, those tuned in will have the opportunity to donate to the “We Shine Together” Mental Health Support Fund in real-time throughout the live stream. All proceeds collected from the concert will help support UCLA Health’s mental health services for vulnerable patients across the greater Los Angeles community. Additionally, fans who choose to donate will help UCLA Health provide outpatient mental health care to patients – especially children and adolescents – who often do not have access to important care. Further, the proceeds will support the training of mental health professionals at UCLA. Building provider capacity will enable more outreach to traditionally underserved populations, and expanded mental health and wellness care will reduce the impact on emergency departments and ensure that patients who need mental health services are evaluated and treated in the safest, most effective clinical setting. The philanthropic support of this fund will help expand access to life-changing care at UCLA Health clinics and beyond.
“Our team members are devoted to providing innovative treatments and compassionate care for patients throughout our communities, and we appreciate the contributions that the artists, organizers and viewers of this event will make as we seek to make these services available to even more people in need of mental health care,” said Thomas B. Strouse, MD, medical director of the Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA. He added that UCLA Health offers the broadest range of mental health services in the area.
“We had an amazing and eye-opening time conversing with Dr. Sena before our performance. Mental health awareness is something we will always get behind and learn about and discuss,” said Adrian Quesada of Black Pumas.
“We are proud to be joining forces with our long-time partner, UCLA Health – a world-class leader in health care that shares in our ongoing commitment to helping drive mental health awareness and resources for the benefit of our fans across Los Angeles and beyond,” said Scott Emery, director, AEG Global Partnerships. “Music has the transformative power not only to heal, but also to bring people together, especially during moments of crisis like this. We look forward to helping break down the social stigma surrounding mental health through this one-of-a kind virtual concert and reminding our fans that we’re in this together and that they don’t have to face this situation alone.”
For more information on UCLA Health’s mental health services and ways to give back, please visit https://www.lalive.com/weshinetogether.