Deep Ellum grassroots organization offering free mental health counseling

DALLAS -- Murals, music, or a mug of beer. Deep Ellum seems to be in the spotlight these days.

However, there is something going on the creative neighborhood that isn’t pictured on any of the painted walls.

Suicide, depression and mental health issues.

Anthony Delabano was in a band, Spector 45. He says, “I tried to commit suicide several times.”

It all began back in 2011. Delabano says, “The lead singer of my band committed suicide, that was pretty much the end of everything, the hopes and dreams and everything I wanted in life, and then 77 days later my basest committed suicide. That left me as the survivor of my band.”

After struggling through his own mental health issues, and putting himself through treatment, Spector 45 turned into Foundation 45. Delabano says he knew he had to do something, “People in Deep Ellum were still dying.”

He started a movement, which is offering free counseling for anyone who needs it. But, they target musicians and artists dealing with addiction, depression, or suicide.

Mariah Black, who is hoping to volunteer with Foundation 45 says, “It was difficult for me to just pick up the phone or the computer and just start looking for help, I cannot imagine how I would have navigated that without insurance.”

Delabano says artists often don't have insurance. “When you need help and you’re broke and you’re an artist, you’re putting all your money into your art, or you’re putting all your money into your equipment, when you’re thinking about money that you’re willing to spend. It’s not always going to be on counseling.”

Joseph De Leon volunteers with the organization, but he also uses their support groups and sees of their counselors. He says, “They saved me, they could save anybody.”

It’s not just a dream, it’s a need for the community. A need that continues to grow.

While you certainly can donate to Foundation 45, there’s something else you can do. Something Delabano says is more important, “Tell them to come to our support group.” If you know someone in need, help them get help!

On Saturday May 12th, members of the organizers of Foundation 45 will be at Homegrown Fest 9, which is a music and art festival that helps support the organization.

If you, or someone you know is going through a crisis, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 25/7 at 1-800-273-8255. Or, you can click here to chat with someone online.