March 11, 2016- Los Angeles, CA- Earlier this week in Las Vegas, Seether front man, Shaun Morgan received the respected “Artistic Expression” Award at the Awards of Excellence from the National Council for Behavioral Health for his outstanding work as a suicide prevention advocate. The National Council for Behavioral Health is the unifying voice of America’s mental health and addictions treatment organizations, serving 10 million adults, children and families living with mental illnesses and addictions. Morgan is the creator of the Rise Above Festival, which has become the number one suicide awareness music fundraiser in the world. The singer has worked diligently over the past 5 years to raise awareness and funds for suicide prevention, mental health support and to help remove the stigma around depression and mental health issues.
The Awards of Excellence honor exceptional people and organizations that improve the lives of people living with mental illnesses and addictions, increase understanding of behavioral health in their communities, advocate for public policy reforms, advance professional development and devote their lives to helping others. Morgan was nominated among over 1000 other advocates and is incredibly honored to have been acknowledged for a cause that means so much to him.
Morgan lost his younger brother, Eugene to a suicide in 2007, which lead him to create the Rise Above Festival as a way to honor him. The festival’s name is taken from the song, “Rise Above This,” which Morgan wrote as a message to his brother. His brother took his own life before he ever got a chance to hear it and Shaun had the opportunity to open this week’s award ceremony in Las Vegas with an emotional acoustic version of the song. He was then presented with the award and gave an incredibly touching speech. Along with the awards, Morgan received a $10,000 grant which will go to Rise Above Fest partner, SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education), one of the leading national not-for profit organizations dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention.
This is an excerpt from his speech, it can be read in its entirety here: http://bit.ly/1Ugkkte
I wanted to help those who suffer silently behind closed doors and drawn curtains. I wanted to raise awareness to their plight, and our Rise Above Fest seemed to be the answer.
In the last three years, we have managed to raise more than $100,000 for suicide awareness groups, and I feel that we have started breaking down the wall of secrecy and shame that is built so solidly around people with mental illness. We have donated over 750 tickets to veterans and spread our message to millions around the world.
“Thank you for this award. It represents the most important achievement of my life, to date.”—Shaun Morgan
Rise Above Festival 2016 will be held on August 6th at Darling’s Waterfront in Bangor, Maine. The 2016 line-up includes Disturbed, Volbeat, Seether, Alter Bridge, Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Memphis May Fire, We Came As Romans, Beartooth, I Prevail and more. Tickets and more info: www.riseabovefest.com
ABOUT SEETHER: Multi-platinum selling alternative rock band SEETHER (Shaun Morgan – Vocals/Guitar, Dale Stewart – Bass/Vocals, and John Humphrey – Drums) have enjoyed an amazing run the past 18 months. Their sixth studio album, Isolate and Medicate (Bicycle Music Company/Concord) produced by Brendan O’Brien, (Pearl Jam, Springsteen) was released in July of 2014 to rave reviews and impressive sales with a #4 debut on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart. The album’s first single, “Words As Weapons” spent five weeks at #1, making it the bands 12th #1 hit. The recently released fourth single, the melodic ballad “Save Today” is once again firmly ensconced at rock radio. Their impressive radio presence and relentless touring has driven sales of Isolate and Medicate to more than 200,000 copies in the U.S. alone. Consistently one of the nation’s premier live acts, Seether closed out 2015 with a nationwide headlining tour that wrapped up at the end of October.