Around June, I had an idea. A weird little thought, a spark, but since then, the spark has developed into a full fledged electrical storm the likes rarely seen on this planet.
You see, for a while now, I’ve been thinking that so many great institutions need more funding. Not for some strange altruistic reason, but more because of abject necessity. Let me explain.
My wife works for McGill’s Douglas Mental Health University Institute. The Douglas is the world’s première mental health research facility, and as the growing population ages, mental health is something that we should all be keeping on our radar.
For a few months, I thought about how I can make a difference. How, I, as a novelist, can generate funds for this hospital, how I can help.
Being a science-fiction novelist gives me a unique perspective on our society. I constantly think about, imagine, and create probable futures. This daily pondering made me realize that if we, as experts in our respective fields, don’t start figuring out innovative ways to help out those who help out, eventually we’ll reach a breaking point of catastrophic proportions.
The need for mental health services is growing exponentially. In a recent poll of Canadians, 44% of the population mentioned having a severe mental health issue related to depression, extreme stress, anxiety, etc, at one point or another in their lives. 44%! Almost one in two. And this will not get any better before it gets much worse.
But how could I, as a novelist help fix this issue? It seemed impossible, the task was so huge, until it hit me.
Interesting anecdote. I remember the exact moment with perfect clarity. It was late at night, my wife was sleeping, I was editing my second novel, and in the background I had Doctor Who on the tele. The episode playing was ‘Gridlock’. I looked up from my editing to watch one of the final scenes. The Face of Bo looked at The Doctor and said “You Are Not Alone”.
All the neurones connected simultaneously, and I instantly knew how I can achieve my goals.
So I did what I do best, I wrote, but not text, no, you might not know this about me, but I’m a musician as well as being a writer, so I wrote the lyrics to a song, and I wrote the music for a song. The song has nothing to do with mental health or the Douglas. It’s just a kick ass song, designed to make money.
Then, I looked through my contacts. Using only Facebook, I found the best musicians in Montreal to actually play the song, I asked a record label if they were interested in producing a song, I found a studio, technicians, a team of marketers, graphic designers, PR people, and asked them if they wanted to help put together a song, whose royalties will be donated in perpetuity to the Douglas.
Everyone without exception jumped on the opportunity, and OverSoul7 was created. What is OverSoul7.org?
OverSoul7 is a non-profit social engineering think tank comprised of musicians, artists, marketers, painters, singers, engineers, graphic artists, web specialists, and a slew of other professionals, technicians, and devoted amateurs from countless fields, who want to help create a better world by working together, not for money, but for noble causes.
Our first project, called “Sayonara”, is well underway. The recording is done, the mixing is currently happening, the mastering is next, the marketing and PR campaigns are being designed and executed, the website is being created and put together as this is being written, and everyone who is participating is a world class expert in their field. How cool is that? (Thank you, all!!)
Most of the cool things happen through Facebook. We like to keep it simple. You can join OverSoul7 here, and while you’re there, check out the incredible people who have already joined and offered their services.
If you’re curious, check out our teaser video. It rocks!