LOCAL musician Ruby Dow and her band successfully launched their first album last month.
Known as Ruby Charlotte, the group of six held an afternoon of music at the Naracoorte Uniting Church on September 21.
Ruby said she was very happy with how it went and the turnout of people.
"The band and I felt really supported by the people who attended and purchased an album."
The album is called "Tell Me You're Alive" and was written by Ruby about her high school experience.
Each song was individually inspired by a situation she has been in or witnessed either at school or at home.
Topics covered include bullying, standing up for people, social justice issues like poverty, peer pressure, dealing with stress and being yourself.
She said she hoped it might be able to help others who are struggling through some of the more difficult times.
"It's about the struggles, arguments and tears. High school can be fabulous, but for some it can be treacherous.
"Even though it was a bit scary for me to talk about my experiences - my depression, anxiety, problems at school and my grief when my family lost a close friend to suicide - it's important.
"Song writing is a risky business, wearing my heart out on my sleeve, but I know that people need to hear these songs, they need to hear that there is hope when everything seems hopeless.
"Teenagers need to know that no matter how difficult their time in high school is, that they will come out of it alive."
While most of the songs are upbeat and cheery they tackle some confronting issues such as suicide and self-harm prevention.
"I know that depression can be a really hard thing to deal with and the stigma behind it is huge - mental illnesses are often something that you feel like you're dealing with by yourself," she said.
"Talking about suicide is confronting, but it shouldn't be.
"As a community we've got to start breaking down the walls of that stigma, because that is what makes people feel so alone and like nobody understands.
"We need to remember that even though life isn't perfect, it's wonderful, and that holding on is worth it.
"That's what my music is all about, and that's why I write my songs about such confronting topics."
"Tell Me You're Alive" by Ruby Charlotte is available to buy for $15 at the True Vine book store or Naracoorte Uniting Church.