TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A local doctor is raising awareness for teenage mental health by fusing together music, dance and culture in a charity concert.
Dr. Ngoc Pham is a local family medicine doctor. In 2018, she decided to start raising awareness for mental health—not in the office, but in the community.
“Being a physician it’s that natural feeling of being a provider and connecting with your patients,” Pham said.
Although Pham has served the community for many years, her passion for teenage mental health really set in after losing a family member to suicide. She also struggled with mental health as a teenager.
“I had a major life event that I struggled with of many years and I wished I had an outreach program like crisis center when I was young,” she said.
That’s why in 2018, she created a charity concert with 100% of the proceeds going to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
“When I started this, I didn’t know how many people would come out, but it has grown tremendously,” she said.
Pham fuses together music, dance and culture to help raise money and bring awareness to teenage mental health.
“It’s difficult to be on stage as far as having the opportunity especially for young students, Latinos and we have the representation of Bollywood dancing, I love the idea of sharing the stage with so many amazing performers,” Pham said.
Her son, Jacob, is an 11-year-old musical prodigy who serves as the headliner each year.
“I always feel inspired because I can inspire other people to be happy,” Jacob said.
Jacob started playing piano at just 4 years old.
“My sister used to play piano and she used to play songs, I used to hear it and I used to come join her,” Jacob said.
Jacob would sit with his sister, listen to the music, then mimic it on the piano. He now plays more than five instruments and even sings, dances and acts.
“I just love the feel of playing the music,” he said.
At 11, Jacob shares his passion with the community, while his parents give back to help combat an issue plaguing many teens across the nation. It was an idea that has now bloomed into an event with a major impact.
“When you have an idea just keep going with it whether it’s small, don’t think it will happen, if you keep reaching out, asking for help you will be so blown away by the people who say gosh I’m affected by this,” Ngoc said.
The third annual charity concert took place Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Bayanihan Arts and Event Center. $30,000 was raised and donated to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.