DETROIT – An organization in Metro Detroit is hoping the gift of music will help teens battling depression.
Pick With Austin Detroit’s mission is to get guitars and other instruments that were donated into the hands of at-risk children. Jim Gibbs is the director of Pick With Austin Detroit.
“Pandemic has created a lot of depression in everybody, but it’s especially bad in teens and the teen suicide rates are just skyrocketing. And it’s a needless tragedy. We’d love to help these kids out,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs has made it his mission to give free instruments to children experiencing depression through the nonprofit.
“We try to bring awareness to teen suicide and depression through music, through the gifting of guitars and other musical instruments that we get donated from the community,” Gibbs said.
The organization was started in Austin, Texas by Gibbs’ friend who lost his son to suicide in 2010. Gibbs is bringing Pick with Austin to Detroit by donating two brand new guitars to the music therapy department at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Erica Cyrul is a music therapist at the hospital.
“We basically use it to help patients cope with hospitalization and just being at the hospital in general,” Cyrul said. “For a teen to get a guitar or drum set or keyboard and be able to learn and get their mind off of the negative thoughts. We found that this actually helps.”
Pick with Austin Detroit is just getting started. They’re looking for donations of lightly used instruments.
They’re also accepting applications for any child who is under the age of 18 who might be going through a hard time and looking for some music therapy.