First Fortnight festival
The beginning of the year can be a mixed bag of emotions. It’s normal to feel deflated or depressed after Christmas, but also optimistic for what the new year will bring.
With many of us feeling more fragile than we might normally, the annual First Fortnight festival is held around the country to challenge mental health prejudices.
As many of us are quite likely to experience mental health problems at some point in our lives, it’s about time the conversation around mental health is normalised (for want of a better word). Besides, mental health is normal – we all have it.
Creative arts and mental health
Of course that’s what we’ve been saying all along, which is why it’s great to see what other organisations are up to. As this festival’s name suggests, it’s on for the first two weeks of January and uses the creative arts to get the conversation flowing.
First Fortnight events include:
- Theatre – various plays including Dublin Fringe winner, Dolls
- Music – the festival’s closing gig is headlined by Heathers
- Discussions – featuring hosts like RTÉ’s Marian Finucane
- Silver Linings Playbook – the award winning film is being shown around the country.
The First Fortnight centre for creative therapies is also making psychotherapists available in Dublin to provide art-therapy for people experiencing homelessness and mental ill-health.
Not just for January
While the First Fortnight festival is a fantastic way to start 2014, it’s important to remember that the topic of mental health doesn’t have to be temporary. Minding our mental health should be something we frequently consider, just as many people do with their physical health.
Don’t wait until you or someone you know is presented with a mental health problem, start thinking about your health now: it might help with the ‘happy’ that’s supposed to come with ‘New Year’.