The loss of iconic musician Jeff Austin hit founder and owner of the VA Way, John Way, very hard.
Yonder Mountain String Band was the first time he was introduced to bluegrass music and it was in New Orleans at a 2am show during Jazz Fest. That show forever changed his life. He believes that night discovering Jeff Austin set him on the path that he is on today. Jeff's death highlights the crises of mental health in ALL communities, especially our music community.
The VA Way is partnering with the Delfest Foundation to bring Mental Health First Aid Training to our Music communities. Our goal is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness - to make it okay to not be okay, to make it okay to seek help, and to increase the awareness and the overall Mental Health IQ of our community so that as a community we cultivate understanding and compassion for ourselves and others and build a strong support network to prevent future loss of any of our brothers and sisters due to mental illness.