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Youth Rockin’ the Black Dog (YRBD) is an annual music competition designed to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people in the Hunter and surrounding areas. As well as being a platform for emerging music artists, the competition encourages young people to get thinking and talking about mental health issues with friends, family and networks and aims to promote a range of services available to support young people.
YRBD is coordinated by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health in partnership with organisations from the mental health sector, and support from the local music industry, and government and business sectors.
YRBD involves live heats in a lead up to a Grand Final event held in October (NSW Mental Health Month). Musical acts compete in front of a panel of local music industry representatives, vying for a place in the Grand Final event. Grand Finalists compete for a range of prizes, including a 3-track EP recording package and spot at an entertainment or festival event.