Teen’s coma inspires mental health music festival

Posted: 7th May 2024

A charity set up by the parents of a 17-year-old who attempted to take his own life have held a music festival to raise awareness of mental health problems.

The George’s Friend Fest in Barnard Castle, County Durham, involved 18 performers and 12 hours of music.

It was organised by the charity I’m George’s Mate which was set up in support of George Rabbett-Smith who is still in a coma.

Hilary Rabbett says the event was inspired by her son’s love of music.George Rabbett-Smith remains in critical care but there are small signs of improvement

In June 2023, George had been badly affected by the deaths of two young friends.

“I left him in the house on his own while I went shopping, came back and found him,” Mrs Rabbett said.

She managed to save his life by performing CPR, but the Barnard Castle teenager had a life-threatening brain injury.

Ten months later, there are small signs of improvement.

“He’s even starting to vocalise, not words but different sounds,” Mrs Rabbett said.

The charity I’m George’s Mate said it wanted no young person to suffer

The family wanted to do something to try and help other young people and the festival is the latest in a series of charitable events.

“We started organising George’s Fest in January and we’ve had a lot of support from a lot of people and somehow we pulled it off,” Mrs Rabbett said.

The charity they launched is also creating a suicide prevention course for schools.

Trustee Lewis Normanton said: “All the lads came together and said, you know, we need to find something to help us speak out about this.”

Mrs Rabbett urged other teenagers feeling as desperate as her son once did to “talk to your friends, talk to your family”.

“There is always someone willing to listen, you are never alone,” she said.

Source – County Durham teen’s coma inspires mental health music festival – BBC News

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