First Fortnight – Mental Health Arts Festival now underway nationwide
- January 5, 2017
- Category: Of interest from media
Now in its eighth year, First Fortnight is an arts-based mental health charity that organises a festival in the first two weeks of the year aimed at challenging stigma and discrimination. An awareness campaign in the First Fortnight of the year works because we are all a little raw that time of year and more likely to be open to an emphatic response. First Fortnight has become a fixture in the cultural calendar and synonymous with mental health awareness, challenging prejudice and ending stigma.
This two-week festival of music, theatre, arts, and discussion events features guests such as Ivor Browne, Paul Kimmage, John Spillane, Otherkin, Eleanor Tiernan & more. The festival got underway in Dublin on New Year’s Day and continues until January 20th.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s festival programme, Helen McEntee, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, said:
The timing of this festival is crucial as it takes place in early January, the bleakest time of the year, especially for those vulnerable among us.”
Among the events taking place across Dublin and selected venues nationwide include:
- The Wonder Eye, the premiere of a brand new documentary about former psychiatrist Ivor Browne – a central figure in Irish mental health for many decades – will be shown at the IFI, Dublin on January 14. The documentary features contributions from Tommy Tiernan, Tom Murphy, Mary Coughlan, Sebastian Barry and Nell McCafferty, among others.
- Paul Kimmage in conversation will see one of the most influential and widely read sportswriters in the country discuss his career as a professional cyclist, his career as a sportswriter and the mental stresses and strains which occur in sport.
- Acclaimed movie starring Mark Ruffalo Infinitely Polar Bear will be screened nationwide in partnership with IFI National, which explores the experience of an individual living with bipolar (Mark Ruffalo) who takes over sole responsibility for his two spirited daughters while his wife (Zoe Saldana) attends graduate school in New York.
- Award-winning play Half Light in partnership with Smock Alley Theatre is both at once a beautiful exploration of childish imagination and a dip into the darkest depths of the adult psyche.
There are many more events taking place, to download the full programme please click here.
This year’s festival presenting partners include; Mental Health Reform; St Patrick’s Mental Health Services; Mental Health Ireland and See Change, the National Mental Health Stigma Reduction Partnership.