Mental Health Week 2018

Say something
7 October - 14 October

Say Something - Mental Health Week

About the project

The music clip was created to raise awareness about youth suicide and mental health statistics and was released for WA Mental Health Week, which runs from 7–14 October. Current statistics indicate that one in seven young Australians will experience a mental health condition over the course of their adolescent years.

Rates of youth suicide in Australia are the highest they have been in 10 years. Suicide is the biggest killer of young Australians and accounts for the deaths of more young people each year than car accidents (Beyond Blue, 2018). Justin Timberlake's "Say Something" was chosen as a means of reminding young people of the importance of speaking out if they are not feeling safe or OK within themselves.

The Passion Project was produced, co-directed and choral directed by Christie Pannell, a voice teacher and choral director from Instrumental Music School Services, over the course of Term 3 2018. A total of 90 students from six schools were involved in the process, along with 10 professional musicians and music teachers predominantly from Instrumental Music School Services and the Perth music community.

If you – a young person – are experiencing moods, thoughts or behaviours that out of generally out of character for you, you can approach the following resources for assistance:

A note from the creator, Christie Pannell

Youth suicide prevention and mental health issues are topics that I am incredibly passionate about, as I have worked with adolescents in both school and hospital environments for eight years as a Chaplain, Arts Facilitator and Instrumental Music Teacher. I have had multiple experiences with both and believe that it is extremely important to "Say Something" as a means of reducing the stigma attached to these painful topics.

This project was also germinated from a desire to give my students an incredible experience with music that would inspire them in their studies and turn their appreciation for music into a lifelong love. I wanted them to encounter its empowering nature and its ability to create community. I also wished for them to discover how music can assist us in reaching for dreams that are beyond our own limitations, and aid us in giving a voice to social issues that require attention and change.

The students

The students from Wanneroo Secondary College, Ocean Reef Senior High School, Butler College, Thornlie Senior High School, Cecil Andrews and Ellenbrook Secondary College spent seven weeks in the lead-up to recording learning a choral arrangement by Mac Huff in four-part harmony. This arrangement included counter-melodies with some in three-part harmony. Hence, hour-long choir sessions occurred at each school across Perth every week – led by Christie Pannell (and assisted by Victoria O'Neil - Instrumental Music Teacher, via students provided from Ellenbrook SC).

The students had not sung together until the day of the audio recording. They endured a full day of filming and adapted incredibly well to the process and having to smile and repeat scenes continually. Notably, they did an incredible job and many friendships across the schools have formed as a result.

All vocals were performed by the students including the vocal electronic loops at the beginning of the track, which were sung by Maddie Ngatai and Andrie Subih from Butler College. The soloists were Joel Kirkbright from Wanneroo SC and Andrie Subih from Butler College. 

Proudly supported by

Supporters Logos

Special thanks to Rob and Tracy Pannell.


'Say Something' - Music and Lyrics by Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton, Nate Hills, Larrance Dopson and Timothy Mosley

Vocal arrangement | Mac Huff

Cover by the Instrumental Music School Services (IMSS) and the Department of Education

Producer/Choral Director | Christie Pannell, Instrumental Music School Services

Music Director | John McPherson, Wanneroo Secondary College

Musicians | Piano - John McPherson, Keys - ZJ Tan, Bass - Paul Johnson, Acoustic Guitar - Todd Fishwick, Electric Guitar - Dom Zurzolo, Drums - Greg Brenton, Trumpet - Lindsay Timms, Trombone - Stephen Searle, Tenor Saxophone - Mark Sprogrowski, Electronic Looping Artist - Madeleine McEwen

Sound Engineer | Jesse Stack

Videographers | Scott Slawinski and Emma Chandler

University Coordinator | Sarah Brittenden

Teacher Coordinator/Administration | Naomi Adams, Ocean Reef High School

Thank you to students from:

  • Wanneroo Secondary College
  • Ocean Reef Senior High School
  • Butler College
  • Thornlie Senior High School
  • Cecil Andrews College
  • Ellenbrook Secondary College

Filmed, edited and produced by The University of Western Australia

With thanks to University Theatres and the UWA Conservatorium of Music.

Supported by WA Association for Mental Health in support of Mental Health Week 2018, C3 Scarborough and with special thanks to Rob & Tracy Pannell