Seether frontman Shaun Morgan raises suicide prevention awareness; Seether to headline at Exit 111 Friday

Seether headlines at Exit 111 Friday. Pictured, from left, are Dale Stewart, Shaun Morgan and John Humphrey.

Seether frontman Shaun Morgan is bringing purpose to beer brewing with his new small-batch beer, Alain’s Ardent Ale, which will be launched this weekend at Exit 111 festival.

In tribute to his brother, who Morgan lost to suicide in 2007, a portion of sales will be donated to raise awareness for suicide prevention and mental health support. Created in collaboration with Nashville’s Fat Bottom Brewing Co, Alain’s Ardent Ale will be available exclusively at the Exit 111 festival as a part of Morgan’s Rise Above, his philanthropic movement which has raised more than $110,000 for suicide prevention through its presence at concerts and festivals.

Channing’s story broke my heart,” Morgan said.

Channing Smith, Coffee County Central High School student took his own life Sept. 22.

“It is such a devastating end to a kid who seemed to have so much good in him and certainly so much to live for,” Morgan said. “I try not to judge people if I can, but I feel that there is a very important task we need to undertake and start looking into accountability for online bullying…My thoughts are with the Smith family and I sincerely hope that they manage to find some peace in this very painful time in their lives.”

Raising awareness is essential, said Morgan.

“It is vital to raise awareness for many reasons, starting with the statistics that show that suicide rates continue to rise on an annual basis and are now more than double the national homicide rate,” Morgan said. “There are approximately 130 suicides per day in the U.S. and it is now the second leading cause of death for people aged between 10 and 35.

“That is absolutely alarming and should galvanize every single person in this country into action immediately. We are losing upwards of 47, 000 Americans every year at this stage so it has become imperative that we open up this dialogue and really try to find the symptoms underlying this tragedy in order to figure out real solutions and offer lasting help to those that need it. This is an actual crisis that warrants all of our support and attention.”

Morgan encourages everyone to learn the alarming signs and help erase the stigma.

“It is vital to support the cause because it defangs the stigma behind mental health and suicide, thereby making it a topic that is not hidden in the shadows and ignored,” Morgan said. “We are dealing with a problem that is very difficult to identify, making it nearly impossible to prevent and therefore we are in a somewhat helpless vortex. I feel that by really shining a light on this problem and including our communities we can start bringing people together, unlike social media which tears us apart.

“We need more people involved so that we can show others that their self worth lies in who they are as people and not in social media accolades that are ultimately deceptive and hollow. This is a very real threat that needs to be faced head-on if we hope to ever make any real progress.”