24 Sep 2017 — 27 Sep 2017

Awkward Conversations at Customs House: 24 and 27 September, 10am – 7pm

The Long Table at UNSW Art & Design: 26 September, 6pm – 8pm

We’re virtually incapable of talking about suicide. Try slipping the word into a conversation and the mood drops. Guidelines caution about the dire consequences of saying too much. So mostly we say nothing. But what are we really thinking about suicide? Why is it so hard to verbalise and what happens if we do?



The Big Anxiety Ambassador, Alessandro Donagh-De Marchi offers calm, level headed conversations about suicide. Let’s just say the word and see where it goes.

Alessandro has plenty of lived experience. He is working with The Big Anxiety exploring direct approaches to conversation. He’ll be available for one-on-one Awkward Conversations at Customs House (24 and 27 September), and will be part of the Long Table (26 September, UNSW Art & Design).

We hope to build on what comes out of these engagements with further pop-up conversations during the festival.

Book your conversation with Alessandro Donagh-De Marchi – here online via Eventbrite


Please be aware that conversation programs offered by The Big Anxiety DO NOT provide counselling, therapy, psychiatric/medical care, or crisis support.

For 24-hour telephone counselling, information and referral service, please call:

  • Lifeline
    13 11 14

If you are distressed or need assistance while attending the festival, please make contact with The Big Anxiety staff/volunteers. Our volunteers are not health professionals but all are trained to direct you to appropriate supports.

Artist Biography

Alessandro Donagh-De Marchi

Alessandro has been an active advocate for mental health issues and awareness for several years after his own experiences with depression and anxiety while growing up. He now works with communities and organisations to reduce stigma and dispel the myths that are often associated with mental health by openly sharing his own experiences, while also helping others to tell their stories. Alessandro believes that open discussion around difficult topics is vital to start conversations that can not only improve lives but also, in some cases, to save them.